OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health
Literature reports the frequent use of shoulder slings by occupational therapists for the management of post-stroke shoulder subluxation despite the low evidence for its efficacy. To understand the clinical context that defies current research evidence, a survey was distributed among California occupational therapists. One hundred and sixty-eight participants responded to the survey, answering questions regarding the occurrences and clinical reasoning in the use of shoulder sling with patients post stroke. 81.5% of the respondents reported the use of shoulder sling. However, the actual sling prescription was limited to 28.4% of their patients. Slings were primarily prescribed for upper extremity management during functional mobility and for pain reduction. The orthopedic sling was the most frequently used sling. Reasons to use the orthopedic sling were largely based on pragmatic reasoning such as convenience and cost factors. On the contrary, therapists with advanced training were found to be more likely to apply procedural reasoning when choosing the proper sling for their patients.
Li, Kitsum; Murai, Naoko; and Chi, Simon, "Clinical Reasoning in the use of Slings for Patients with Shoulder Subluxation After Stroke: A Glimpse of the Practice Phenomenon in California" (2013). Collected Faculty and Staff Scholarship. 72.