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geriatrics, learning strategy, older adult, patient education



  1. Chesbro, Steven B. PT, DPT, EdD, GCS
  2. Conti, Gary J. EdD
  3. Williams, Bernadette R. PT, ScD, GCS


Rehabilitation providers frequently use education as a regular part of intervention. As the population of older adults continues to increase, so does the likelihood that they will be required to participate in learning about their health. The Assessing The Learning Strategies of Adults (ATLAS) tool was designed to quickly identify an adult's preferred way of learning a task and classify him or her as belonging to 1 of the following 3 groups: Engagers, Navigators, and Problem Solvers. The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of ATLAS, the distribution of learning strategies with older adults, differences in learning strategy distribution based on age category, and differences in learning strategy distribution based on assistance required with activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living. The results of this study show the ATLAS tool to be a reliable and valid instrument that rehabilitation providers can use to determine an older adult patient's preferred way of learning a task. An applied case example is included.