ASR Sample Questions

A physical therapist works in the community and is treating a 40-year-old woman with an above-knee amputation. The physical therapist has treated this patient on several occasions over the past five years. Today, the physical therapist conducts an assessment and suggests treatment including exercises, ultrasound and balance training.

Question #1

The physical therapist discusses the proposed treatment plan, and describes the risks and benefits of the treatment plan. What else must the physical therapist do in order to obtain informed consent for treatment?

Indicate if the options below are true or false.   

a) Have the patient sign a consent form.                                          
b) No other action is required to obtain informed consent.        
c) Provide an opportunity for the patient to ask questions.

Correct Answers

a) False
b) False
c) True

According to the Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act, the following are some of the required elements of obtaining informed consent to health care:

“the health care provider gives the adult the information a reasonable person would require to understand the proposed health care and to make a decision, including information about:

  • the condition for which the health care is proposed,
  • the nature of the proposed health care,
  • the risks and benefits of the proposed health care that a reasonable person would expect to be told about, 
  • alternative courses of health care, and
  • the adult has an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about the proposed health care.”      

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Question #2

After treating the patient for several weeks the physical therapist and patient discover they both have young children with similar interests. The patient is keen to meet for play dates with the kids, and to develop a friendship. The physical therapist knows that she will continue to follow this patient over the next few years. What should the physical therapist consider with respect to professional boundaries?

Select 2 answers:

a) That College Bylaws prohibit billing a third party payer when treating a personal friend.
b) That there is a power imbalance between the therapist and the patient.
c) That it may be difficult to write an unbiased report if a personal relationship develops.
d) That the relationship will not include touching of a sexual nature, so there are no issues with respect to professional boundaries.

Correct Answers

b) and c)

It can be difficult to maintain professional boundaries when a personal and professional relationship exist simultaneously. Take time to clarify your roles with your patient, or when possible, defer the friendship until after the patient is discharged from treatment.

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Question #3

The physical therapist starts to reflect on the relationship with this patient. Which of the following behaviours are considered to be warning signs, or ‘yellow lights’, for professional boundary crossings.

Select 2 answers:

a) Accommodating the patient’s request to be treated at the beginning of the work day.
b) Listening in an empathetic manner when the patient discloses a recent upsetting argument with a family member.
c) Confiding the physical therapist’s personal problems to the patient.
d) Spending time with the patient beyond what is needed for therapeutic needs.
e) Discussing the patient’s treatment with other members of the team.
f) Providing a contact number when the patient takes a piece of equipment home for a weekend trial.

Correct Answer

c) and d)

The two noted behaviours are considered warning signs or ‘yellow lights’ because they may blur the professional boundaries that are in place to protect the patient.

Professional boundaries are intended to set limits and clearly define a safe, therapeutic connection between a physical therapist and a patient. If left unchecked, behaviours that blur boundaries can gradually progress to a point where a boundary is crossed – violating the nature of a therapeutic relationship.

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