Validation of a task demand measure for predicting mental workloads of physical therapists

Sheau Farn Max Liang, Chi Lun Rau, Pei Fang Tsai, Wen Shiuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to validate an analytical method in assessing demanded mental workloads for physical therapists, and to discuss its possible ergonomics implications on the design of healthcare working systems in which physical therapists are considered as the users. A task analysis was first used to understand the operation steps of three identified physical therapies. Then, the McCracken-Aldrich technique was applied to assign ratings of mental workload demanded for performing each step of the therapies. Finally, the assigned ratings were validated by the analysis of correlation with the answers of the NASA-TLX questionnaire collected from seventeen physical therapists in the rehabilitation center of a university-affiliated hospital. Results showed that the proposed McCracken-Aldrich technique was suitable as an analysis tool for predicting metal workloads of physical therapists. Some possible implications about the information provision and user interface design for reducing therapists' mental workloads on current therapy operations were discussed. Relevance to industry: Results of this paper are expected to contribute the research and development in healthcare industry on its system design and workflow analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-752
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2014


  • Healthcare working systems
  • McCracken-Aldrich technique
  • Mental workload
  • Physical therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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