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Table 2 Type and scope of physiotherapy in Australian RACFs

From: The type and scope of physiotherapy is under-utilised in Australian residential aged care facilities: a national, cross-sectional survey of physiotherapists

Variable n (%)
Most common reason for physiotherapy referral (12.2% missing data)
 Management of chronic pain as per ACFI framework 175 (89.7)
 Management of chronic pain – non-ACFI 10 (5.1)
 Falls 135 (69.2)
 Reduced mobility 70 (35.9)
 Decline in function/deconditioning 53 (27.2)
 New admission 37 (19.0)
 Post-hospital discharge 7 (3.6)
 Regular/routine review 75 (38.5)
 Dementia 14 (7.2)
 Othera 5 (2.6)
Source of physiotherapy referral (21.2% missing data)
 General practitioner 114 (65.1)
 Nurse 153 (87.4)
 Resident 79 (45.1)
 Family 79 (45.1)
 Routine for new admission 144 (82.3)
 Routine for scheduled review 129 (73.7)
 Blanket referral for specific incidents/issues 116 (66.3)
 Otherb  < 5
Physiotherapy role (8.6% missing data)
 ACFI Chronic pain management 193 (93.6)
ACFI Chronic pain management interventions (4.9% missing data)
Massage for complex healthcare procedure 4a 107 (55.4)
Massage for complex healthcare procedure 4b 180 (93.3)
Electrotherapy or other technical equipment for complex healthcare procedure 4b 69 (35.8)
 Non-ACFI Chronic pain management 69 (34.0)
 Falls prevention and treatment 156 (76.8)
Falls prevention and treatment interventions (13.5% missing data)
Exercise 125 (92.6)
Education/advice 53 (39.3)
Harm and risk minimization 65 (48.1)
Equipment and apparel 51 (37.8)
Personal processes 11 (8.1)
Referral to and collaboration with other health care professionals 11 (8.1)
Reviews/audits 27 (20.0)
Environmental modifications 22 (16.3)
Other medical and pain management 7 (5.2)
 Mobility and functional maintenance 153 (75.4)
 Rehabilitation/short-term restorative care 85 (41.9)
 Staff training and consultation 123 (60.6)
 Equipment recommendations and provision 5 (2.3)
 Otherc 21 (10.3)
Validated outcome measures utilized (n = 30) (21.2% missing data)
 Pain (n = 5) 162 (92.6)
 Balance and falls risk (n = 6) 121 (69.1)
 Functional (n = 3) 104 (59.4)
 Mobility (n = 6) 62 (35.4)
 Multi-faceted: mobility and balance or function (n = 3) 21 (12.0)
 Functional lower limb strength (n = 2) 74 (42.3)
 Overall health (n = 3) 9 (5.1)
 Otherd (n = 2)  < 5
Reason older adult excluded from physiotherapy (22.5% missing data)
 None excluded 53 (30.8)
 Maximum ACFI claim reached 71 (41.3)
 Lack of funding 69 (40.1)
 Respite status 62 (36.0)
 Non-compliance of older adult and/or family with physiotherapy 22 (12.8)
 Cognitive impairment 19 (11.0)
 Othere 10 (5.8)
Duration (minutes) of physiotherapy sessions, mean (SD) (19.8% missing data)
 New admission assessment 35.3 (29.8)
 Discharge session 3.9 (9.8)
 Regular scheduled review 18.5 (15.2)
 Unscheduled review 16.7 (15.9)
 Falls review 18.9 (13.5)
 Resident and family liaising 11.4 (10.9)
  1. ACFI Aged Care Funding Instrument, RACF Residential Aged Care Facility, SD standard deviation
  2. a Other refers to categories with less than 5 counts which include stroke; Parkinson’s disease; oedema; and change in neurological function
  3. b Other refers to categories with less than 5 counts which include appointed external personnel and ACFI coordinator
  4. c Other refers to categories with less than 5 counts which include respiratory physiotherapy; quality improvement projects; resident and family education and training; cardiac physiotherapy; staff management; reviews and case conferences; Work Health and Safety, return-to-work, and manual handling; pressure area care; exercise prescription (individual or group)
  5. d Other refers to categories with less than 5 counts which include nine-hole peg test and Goal Attainment Scale (GAS)
  6. e Other refers to categories with less than 5 counts which include behavioural issues; insufficient number of physiotherapists for caseload; insufficient time for caseload; not indicated