Paediatric Physiotherapy Services Across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Cherie Zischke, Rod Pope, Wayne Hing, Nikki Milne, Alicia Spittle

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only

Abstract

Aim: To determine current service type distribution, referral and waiting list factors impacting access to
paediatric physiotherapy services in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Method: An anonymous online questionnaire, using the Qualtrics platform, was released via email to
practicing physiotherapists in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom who provide paediatric
physiotherapy services. Data were analysed descriptively using SPSS.
Results: A total of 244 (Australia n=76, New Zealand n=21, United Kingdom n=147) physiotherapists
providing services to paediatric clients responded. Those working in community-based organisations made
up 42.6% (n=104), with 27% (n=66) in hospitals, 11.5% (n=28) in schools, and 10.2% (n=28) in private
practice settings. Most services accepted medical practitioner referrals (80.7%, n=197), with 40.6%
accepting parent referrals (40.6%, n=99). Waiting times for physiotherapy assessments varied across age
groups and countries. Mean waiting time for children 0-12 months, 13 months–5 years and 6–10 years was
1.02, 2.12, & 2.53 months respectively (Australia); 5.27, 5.55 & 2.00 months respectively (New Zealand) and
1.37, 2.26 & 2.87 months respectively (United Kingdom).
Conclusion: Waiting times for paediatric physiotherapy assessment are lengthy across all three countries.
Alternative methods of assessment, such as telehealth, should be investigated as a potential way to reduce
these wait times.
Key Practice Points:
• Lengthy wait times for paediatric physiotherapy assessment is currently an issue across Australia,
New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
• Further research is needed to determine methods to reduce this time and improve access to
services.
Proposed impact, if any, on the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: The results
of this research are likely to benefit both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous
populations similarly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages324
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019
EventAustralian Physiotherapy Association Transform 2019 Physiotherapy Conference - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 17 Oct 201919 Oct 2019
https://transform.physio/#program

Conference

ConferenceAustralian Physiotherapy Association Transform 2019 Physiotherapy Conference
Abbreviated titleA little knowledge can transform the profession.
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period17/10/1919/10/19
Internet address

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