Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.H.K.

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

McNevin, Nancy

Keywords

Health and environmental sciences, Attentional focus, Clinical settings, Therapists'perceptions

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Information provided by a therapist is an important for motor learning. Instinctively, therapists refer to body positioning, creating an internal focus of attention (IFOA. Literature suggests, statements directing attention away from specific body movements, known as external focus of attention (EFOA), are most effective for motor learning. Little is known about how EFOA statements in a clinical setting compare to suggestions in literature, or whether therapists have an understanding of how to use it in rehabilitation programs. To determine this, appointments of 15 therapists were observed, and a therapist perception questionnaire was administered. Findings indicate, IFOA statements (262) are used more frequently than EFOA statements (70). When other factors are considered (i.e., task type) communications more closely reflect literature's suggestions. Therapist perception questionnaires highlight a discrepancy between therapists' perceptions and what was actually presented. The majority of therapists had limited understanding of attentional focus as a clinical motor learning tool.

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