Health Outcomes can be Improved by Implementing an Occupational Physiotherapy Provider Programme

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Abstract

Purpose.

To evaluate the return to work and health outcomes of a physiotherapy network provider programme.

Method.

A prospective case–control study was conducted with 21 clients of network occupational physiotherapy (OP) providers and 21 matched clients of non-network providers.

Outcome measures.

Health outcomes and return to work were recorded 3 and 6 months following the commencement of physiotherapy. Health outcomes included the Short Form (SF)-12, return to usual activities and the global perceived effect of treatment. Within-group changes and between-group differences were analysed.

Results.

Within-group changes showed the OP group improved significantly in physical functioning (p = 0.006), and the control group deteriorated in mental health status (p = 0.016) as measured by the SF-12. Mean change over time between groups from the 3-month to 6-month follow-ups showed a significant difference favouring the OP group for return to usual activities (p = 0.027) and the physical component of the SF-12 (p = 0.009). All job-attached participants returned to work following their accident, so there was no difference between the groups.

Conclusion.

The OP clients demonstrated a greater change in physical functioning health outcomes over time. This study provides preliminary support for the implementation of the OP scheme. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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