Oral Communication

Occupational therapists’ shared decision-making behaviors with patients having persistent pain in a work rehabilitation context: A cross-sectional study

Prof Marie-France COUTUa, Prof France LÉGARÉb, Prof Dawn STACEYc, Prof Marie-José DURANDa, Mrs Marie-Elise LABRECQUEa

a Université de Sherbrooke, b Université Laval, c Université d'Ottawa


In a work rehabilitation context, we assessed occupational therapists’ (OTs) shared decision-making (SDM) behaviors with individuals having persistent pain and explored factors influencing SDM behaviors.

Methods and participants

A cross-sectional study that used audio-recordings of work rehabilitation consultations between OTs trained in SDM and a convenient sample of patients. Eligible patients were: off work for ≥12 weeks due to persistent pain associated with a musculoskeletal disorder, starting a work rehabilitation program, and French speaking. Transcripts were analyzed using the Observing Patient Involvement in Shared Decision Making (OPTION) instrument and assessed patients’ decisional conflict and socioeconomic status.


Of 15 OTs trained in SDM, 11(90% female), provided audiotaped SDM meetings with 37 patients (40.5% female; aged 18-62 years). Their average OPTION score was 53.94 out of 100 (SD = 9.68; range 35.42-70.83), indicating basic skills. Significant factors associated with OPTION scores (R2adjusted = 21.7%) were the interview length (p = .008) and level of patient education (p = .038).


Basic SDM behaviors were integrated in the practice of OTs trained in SDM. Evaluating SDM behaviors is a step toward providing OTs with performance feedback toward achieving client-centered care.

Keywords : rehabilitation; shared decision-making; work; injuries; people with disabilities; pain