Title

Investigating Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Students' Outcome Effectiveness

ISBN or ISSN

1741-1645

Volume

16

Issue

3

Publication Date / Copyright Date

3-2009

First Page

167

Last Page

175

Publisher

Mark Allen Group

Abstract

Aims: Research has looked at the differences between outcomes of patients treated by novice vs expert therapists, but to date research has not looked at differences in outcomes of patients treated by students and therapists. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine if there was a difference in functional status, treatment visits or treatment duration of patients treated by student therapists compared to patients treated by occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Methods: This retrospective study used secondary analysis of the Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes (FOTO), Inc. database, which is used within one outpatient rehabilitation hospital in Ohio, USA. The database contains patient data on functional status measures, number of visits and treatment duration, and comparisons were made in these three areas between patients treated by therapists and therapy students.

Findings: Data suggested patients treated by therapists tended to have fewer visits (10.8 visits for students, 9.1 visits for therapists), shorter treatment duration (37.6 days for students, 27.2 days for therapists), and greater improvement of functional status compared to patients treated by students.

Conclusion: The trends in the data suggesting that students used more visits and treated with less improvement in functional status warrants further discussion and investigation. Findings contribute to the ongoing discussion about the need to be efficient and effective, which is consistent within the healthcare industry, while at the same time making sure that students have quality educational experiences.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

Keywords

Physiotherapy, Clinical Education, Patient Outcomes, Student, Outcome Effectiveness

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