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Can I ask what do you find helpful/unhelpful in Health a Professional reports?

(15 Posts)
Otanon Thu 02-Jul-15 20:47:55

Hi, I'm an OT, working in a Child Development Centre. We often assess children for DCD (co-ordination disorders), ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorders. Often this is as part of a team but we tend to write individual reports.
I really want to improve our report format and feel that it may be a bit heavy- going for lots of parents (though I could be wrong!). Generally, it follows this structure: referral details, concerns and goals, assessment results and discussion (quite a few standardised assessments used as well as clinical obs), summary and recommendations. This is written as a report in prose if you like, ie not a table and it can often be 5 pages long!
I think it's fairly standard format for OT reports, so my questions are:
Did it help?
Did it make sense?
Was there too much lingo?
Who did you think the report was for? (Parents/careers, school, medics etc).
Thank you anyone who has anything to say - it would be great to get some feedback and make the reports as useful as possible for you.

shazzarooney99 Thu 02-Jul-15 21:13:04

I am waiting for an OT report so i cant help you, but what i can say is the report is for everyone to see as it helps them with the bigger picture,we have Cahms next week and OT has said shell have the report for Monday, i also share Salt reports and peadatrician reports, i think it helps as proffesionals do not always share information and you end up going through the same story a gazillion times.

I know my pead shares with salt and now the audiologist is sharing with the pead,school have not given much info to pead which leaves us up the creek without a paddle and so on.

Otanon Thu 02-Jul-15 21:20:34

Thanks shazz. I guess that is the point, who the report is for. It does have to serve so many people and purposes (for education, medical, parents, salt etc). It's hard to stop it being this huge unwieldy document. But maybe that's ok?
I ask also as a parent with a child with speech and lang difficulties. His reports from salt are just tables with little discussion. I guess they are not diagnosing and speech changes so quickly, but it did make me think that us OTs do A LOT of talking!

guggenheim Thu 02-Jul-15 21:36:14

OOh I've received a few of these recently so I hope you don't mind my half penny's worth.

I'm sorry but there is too much waffle. I DON"T need to have details about my child repeated,I know the bloody date and time and I remember the name of the OT. stop wasting time on these details.

I had no difficulty with the lingo- by the time you've reached OT most parents will have read and read and read and have some idea at least of what kind of difficulties their child faces.

If you are not going to carry out a full assessment then do not bother showing up. Sorry to be harsh,but I am rather tired of experts (not ness OT) who make an appointment for which I must lose a days pay and then sit about stating the bleeding obvious. If you're just going on a questionnaire,then post it to me,I can fill it in while doing 87 other things.

Do say what you are going to do to help. If the honest answer is 'we can't help due to x,y and z' then do not waste parent's time- it's precious.

I'm sorry. All parents hope that the OT will make helpful suggestions,by which I mean; something the parents hasn't already thought of.
i received a report this week,2 months after the 'assessment' which was not carried out and it simply tells me things like my child's name.There is also a minor detail which I supplied by filling in the questionnaire- no help,no sensible ideas,just a few general leaflets.

I'm sorry. By contrast we had a factual report from the children's dev. assessment. It was full of detail and they had worked hard to sum up the nature of my child's difficulties. I now can direct my reaserch/ strategies to help and I can take the report into school and begin yet another battle,but this time with a focus. They outlined what may happen in the future and named an organisation which may be able to help us.It wasn't emotional in any way,which I liked.

Lastly,do not make the irritating mistake of asking the male parent what he does and gushing over the fact that he has attended. I'm sure you wouldn't but I notice how frequently it's assumed that I'm 'just mum' and Dh must be terribly important. Not cool.

I wish you well,and I hope you don't feel got at. It's hard reading reports about your child and irritating if they don't offer practical help.

Otanon Fri 03-Jul-15 06:21:31

Hi Gugg, it sounds like you've had a poor experience. And honestly, our reports are nothing like yours sound.
We go into so much detail and look at the child so closely. My worry was that we gave too much information, not too little.
In terms of date and name - sorry, it's an official document and we have to abide by umpteen rules (including repeating ourselves with the facts).
I'm sorry you have not had a good experience sad

OneInEight Fri 03-Jul-15 06:25:18

OK. We have had loads of reports although never from an OT.

What I don't want is masses of background information - I know all about my pregnancy because I told you and it is not relevant to the current issues.

I want a report within two weeks of you seeing my child and not six months later. Surely, it is more efficient to write it up as soon as you have seen the child and not when one appointment has blurred into another. SALT in our experience are the worst and honestly their report just did not reflect the appointment in my opinion. Our best was a CAMHS psychiatrist who wrote within 48 hours of every appointment and hers unsurprisingly was the most accurate reflection.

I want to know what the issues are in a clearly laid out and concise manner so I can pass these on to school or anyone else who cares for my child.

Most of all I want to know what strategies I or school can use to help. We have had hours and hours of professionals time repeating the difficulties but I got more advice from one psychiatrist on managing anxiety from one session at a support group than in any of our 1:1 appointments or reports.

2boysnamedR Fri 03-Jul-15 07:02:28

My OT reports are too short, yours sound far better. Non ever comit to what's wrong so I can get help at school. Ds has Dcd. No idea how bad - I had to go to Harley street to find out and get stated how bad ( it's bad - but I've seen worse)

I don't see how you have too much detail personally. My report is two pages of non committal waffle.

I'd prefer some punchy commitment something is actually wrong as he seem OT over 30 times in two years.

guggenheim Fri 03-Jul-15 07:07:39

otanon I honestly wasn't getting at you,I fully understand how reports work. I'm not sure that we did have a bad experience I think we had the same experience which many parents have.

I can see that you are enthuiastic (sp) which is great but there is a big disconnect between our expectations (that there will be actual practical help) and the outcome of the report (no new ideas or actual help for us or school) and I resent the waste of time.

It would work better to have an in depth phone or skype interview,and then assessment offered if needed,following that.

Do you work in the private or public sector? I'm quite sure that there are huge restrictions and targets and financial cuts in the nhs- just like everywhere else.After our poor experience we were able to ask a private OT to help and she came and assessed my child for 2+ hours. I may not agree with all of her findings but at least she assessed and had something to say. We will not be able to fund therapy but we had enough from her report to work on by ourselves.

I do wish you luck. Maybe you will be the OT who changes the system for the better- who knows?

Otanon Fri 03-Jul-15 07:58:04

Thanks folks - interesting and v useful- will respond later as off to work (nhs) x

LeChien Fri 03-Jul-15 08:16:06

We had a brilliant OT report. It was private though, which may make a difference.
It did start with loads of background info, but when we passed it on to the paediatrician we saw, it filled in the gaps for her so we didn't waste precious time going over it all again.
The report covered ds's strengths and weaknesses, so it wasn't all negative.
It was full of OT jargon (which we mostly understood), but they had a glossary at the back to explain any terms we didn't understand, and also each section had a summary of one or two lines which made everything straightforward and easy to understand.
There was a large section of activities that would help ds and links to find the equipment, and explanations into why these things would help.
There was advice how to approach school, with a separate mini report aimed at school so they didn't have to trawl through the whole report.
The whole experience was positive, they assumed we knew what we were talking to, didn't talk down to us, didn't assume we were lying (which was refreshing), when ds told them how he felt they took him seriously and made adjustments so he felt more at ease (again refreshing).

blankblink Fri 03-Jul-15 09:51:20

Mine was over a decade ago and in those days SPD wasn't heard of and young children weren't assessed, dd was 11 when we were. Our OT was fabulous, she explained everything and the initial assessment comprised of several home visits and observation in school and I had to fill in a sensory Profile questionnaire.

The report consisted of 8 pages, General Info, Gross Motor Skills, Posture, Fine Motor skills, Scissor Skills, Pencil Skills, Visual Perceptual skills, Concentration and Attention, Activities of Daily Living, Clinical Observations Sensory Profile, Summary and Recommendations. There were also a large amount of exercises attached in a separate appendix.

When you have an 11 year old that you know is very different and needs support but school, family and seemingly the rest of the world all tell you you're over-protective etc. it's an absolute revelation to receive a report like this which not only highlights the child's differences, it explains why they behave as they do and it also recommends strategies to help. Also the OT was great in answering all my questions and did lots of follow-up visits at home and at school which helped tremendously.

MairOldAlibi Fri 03-Jul-15 15:50:33

The short reports have been pretty useless to us; in contrast the longer reports have been good, for the reasons stated above.

Though a brief summary section/ supplement would be helpful- in my experience, with the longer reports, it's hard to get other professionals (eg teachers) to even find time to read them. Let alone follow the advice.

PolterGoose Fri 03-Jul-15 17:48:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MairOldAlibi Fri 03-Jul-15 18:25:55

5 page reports must take ages.

I hope you're all saving yourselves some considerable work with lots of (appropriate) pre-formatted text options and shortcut keys. Cut & paste is also fine (with me anyway) if and when it's genuinely reflecting what a dc requires.

Otanon Fri 03-Jul-15 19:49:11

Ha ha Mair - I don't think us (well me anyway) are the most tech savvy. Short cut keys would be great! I never cut and paste the discussion part of the report, but do sometimes copy recommendations.
Maybe my team is good, but we are very thorough actually. Reports are out pretty promptly (unless it's a joint report, with physios for example,as there is toing and froing) and there is always a summary which highlights the reason form referral and the outcome of assessment.
I take your point about school not having time to read them leChien, it's worth considering how to address this.
Actually, most comments are encouraging and it's a relief to hear that detail is good (we never refer to pregnancy oneineight as the assessment focuses on function of the child in the here and now).
Really heartening to hear about your 11 year olds experience, blank. Sometimes the sensory stuff is a revelation to parent.
Next stop for me will be to see how well recommendations are implemented as I've struggled to complete the SALt homework with my own child.

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