Another important piece of information to inquire from patients is their baseline functional history. This will assist the clinician in overall evaluation of the patient providing invaluable data in regards to the patient's ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and also the extent of their limitations or disability. It will also give clues as to the etiology of the disease process and the amount of time required for rehabilitation. For example, a patient who has been experiencing gradual decline in functional mobility over the course of the past 5 years will require more intensive and lengthy rehabilitation than one with a 3-month history of functional deficits. Included in this section are questions about the patient's use of any assis-tive devices, such as canes or walkers that not only confirm the disability but also highlight other issues such as decreased balance (O'Dell et al. 2007).
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