Outcome measurement in Australian rehabilitation environments
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Objective: To determine the frequency and pattern of methods of outcome assessment used in Australian physical rehabilitation environments. Design: Postal survey. Methods: A questionnaire on service type, staffing, numbers of adults treated and outcome measures used for seven conditions related to injury and road trauma as well as stroke and neuromuscular disorders was sent to 973 services providing adult physical rehabilitation treatment. Results: Questionnaires were completed by 440 service providers for a response rate of 45%, similar to that reported in a recent European survey reported in this journal. A small number of measures were reported in use by most respondents, while a large number of measures were used by a few respondents. Measures of physical changes were used more frequently than those of generic well-being or quality of life. Ease of use and reporting to other professionals were cited as the most important reasons in selection of outcome measures. Conclusion: This Australian-wide survey detected considerable heterogeneity in outcome measurement procedures used in rehabilitation environments. While the goal of measurement may vary between providers and differ between conditions, the results highlight opportunities for harmonisation and benchmarking, and measurement of health-related quality of life. Key words: Australia, rehabilitation, outcome measures, change, standardisation, benchmarking.
Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine