Lab Class 3

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lab class:

  • You can carry out a basic posture analysis and identify the bodily landmarks.

  • You will be able to construct functional assessments for the hip joint.

Observation and Functional Assessment

Welcome to lab class 3!

In this lab class, we are going to talk about observation and functional assessment. If you want to compare your RPS form from last class with a sample we have filled out, you can download the form in the resources section. The red text is information that we have gathered from asking additional questions.


Now let's move on to observation. Observation forms the first part of your physical assessment.
The goal is to examine your patient's posture and compare specific bodily landmarks. You could link abnormalities to the hypothesis you have formed during patient history-taking.

Watch the following video and learn how a basic posture analysis is conducted:

Functional assessment
Functional assessment forms the second part of your physical examination. It gives you quick information on movements your patient is having problems with, which you have obtained from the PSC (Patient Specific Complaints) during patient history-taking.
When the patient performs a certain movement you should look for the movement quality, pain during a certain range of the movement, range of motion as well as muscle strength.

Watch the following video to learn about functional assessment and what you could possibly observe during the movement "standing up from a chair":



1) Practice observation with your partner! Create a list of important landmarks that you want to observe and note down any abnormalities you saw.
It can be helpful to use an eyeliner to mark the landmarks and better remember them.

2) Think of functional movements that you would like your patient to perform to get quick info on:

  • Flexion and extension of the hip
  • Internal and external rotation of the hip
  • Abduction and adduction of the hip


Preparation for next week:

1) Sit on a bench in a park or the city centre and try to observe the gait of different people. Can you notice differences?
If you see an abnormal gait pattern, can you guess the person's impairment?