British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 31 Issue 1 (February 1992), Pages 1-127

Changing perceived control in patients with physical disabilities: An intervention study with patients receiving rehabilitation (pages 89-94)

Physiotherapy patients' perceptions of personal control over recovery (during rehabilitation) have been shown to be predictive of their progress. An experimental letter, consisting of the routine appointment letter plus some paragraphs designed to increase perceived control, was sent to 39 randomly selected patients prior to their first appointment. The remaining 32 control patients received the routine letter only. Approximately one week after each patient's first appointment, all patients were interviewed. The group to whom the experimental letter had been sent were found, on average, to have significantly higher levels of perceived control and tended to be more satisfied with information than the control group. There were no significant differences between groups on accuracy of expectations of physiotherapy. It is suggested that this type of communication given prior to treatment might lead to patients making better and faster progress with recovery. However, this possibility needs to be investigated by further study.

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