Evaluation Concepts for Out-patient Orthopedics

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Evaluation Concepts for Out-patient Orthopedics

Instructor: Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT

Course Length: 1 hour | Tuition: $39 or FREE for Elite Passport Members (learn more)

This is a livestream, interactive course.  The instructor will teach in real time and you will have the opportunity to ask and answer questions.


Goal progression and overall rehab success is highly dependent upon patient compliance. While therapists are generally focused on the quality of their evaluation skills (hard skills): measuring ROM, MMT, posture assessment, movement assessments, etc., they can sometimes overlook the most important skill of listening to the patient. Connecting with the patient, understanding their experience and creating a solid patient-therapist relationship is a key driver in patient gains.

This course is designed to teach therapists how to use their soft skills and other techniques, to improve patient compliance and rehab success.  Using evaluation methods, like asking the right questions, active listening, time management and building trust will increase patient confidence and the buy-in needed to reinforce patient compliance. Evaluation components that assess the whole patient combined with collaborative, patient-focused goal setting can improve rehab outcomes and patient compliance with exercise and treatment plans.


  • Discuss how soft skills can improve the patient-therapist relationship
  • Identify the key components in patient-focused goal setting
  • Explain how patient education can build trust and aid in goal progression
  • Explain how to structure a perfect initial evaluation to promote patient compliance.
  • Describe how to prompt patient buy-in and reinforce the benefits of completing the plan of care.



  • Evaluation components review
    • Past medical history, reviewing intake forms
    • Review of outcomes measurements
    • SOAP formats / documentation
    • Collaborative goal setting
    • Thoughts on flow and sequencing of the initial evaluation

Patient interview

    • Active listening skills
    • What questions to ask
    • Improving patient compliance
    • Selling: more than just physical therapy
      • Patient-focused goal setting

Objective tests and measures

  • Physical exam
    • Movement Assessment
      • Regional interdependence
      • Assessing the patient as a whole
      • Selective Functional Movement Assessment Intro
    • Drilling down
      • ROM
      • MMT
      • Special tests


    • Arriving at a diagnosis
      • Interpreting the test results
    • Patient education to build trust
    • Comparable sign
      • Test-treat-retest
    • Developing a treatment plan
      • Reinforcing patient compliance
        • Things to say to make the patient a team player
      • Frequency of treatment
        • Time constraints
        • How often do you schedule follow-up sessions
        • Minimal effective dosage thoughts
    • Conclusion
      • Putting it all together
      • Client follow-up
      • Q&A