Subjective Assessment

The subjective assessment is an important part of the physiotherapy consultation. It is a critical time for the therapist to obtain necessary information that will focus objective assessment. It also allows time for the therapist and the patient to build rapport. This page was designed to help you plan your subjective assessment when using telehealth.

A subjective assessment via telehealth should closely replicate an in-person subjective assessment.

  • Consider asking patients to complete an intake form prior to the session to collect information including:
    • Reason for assessment and goals
    • Past medical history
    • General physical condition (i.e.walking, function, ADLs, falls)
  • Patients may also wish to submit a high quality picture of their injury/condition in advance of the session.
  • The subjective assessment is a critical time for physiotherapists to build rapport with patients. This can be extra challenging over telehealth. Give yourself extra time, especially if this is the patients first telehealth experience.
  • Evidence suggests that you can successfully develop rapport via telehealth. Patient satisfaction via telehealth has been found to be comparable to in-person in terms of patient centred communication, clinical competence, and interpersonal skills.

Five tips for building rapport

  1. Maintain eye contact
  2. Keep a professional appearance
  3. Maximize your technology set up
  4. Leverage technology to your advantage
  5. Use established in-person communication skills

For more details about these 5 tips, read this blog.