Comparison of the results of two rural allied health workforce surveys in the Hunter New England region of New South Wales

2005 versus 2008

Tony Smith, Karin Fisher, Sheila Keane, Michelle Lincoln

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the results of the 2005 and 2008 surveys of the rural allied health workforce in the study region. Design: Comparative analysis of two cross-sectional surveys. Setting: The rural, northern sector of the Hunter New England region of NSW, Australia. Participants: Both surveys targeted 12 different allied health professions. There were 225 respondents in 2005 and 205 in 2008. Main outcome measures: Comparison is made for 15 dependent variables. Results: There was no significant difference for most variables between 2005 and 2008. Mean age and mean years qualified decreased slightly, from 43 to 41years and from 20 to 17years, respectively. The proportion of respondents of rural origin was about two-thirds in both studies and about half had a rural placement during training. While more than half supervised students, only about one-third had received training for that role. In both 2005 and 2008, the proportion working 35 or more hours each week was about 66% but the proportion working more than 40 hours had doubled to about 36%. In both surveys about half intended leaving their job within 10years, while the proportion satisfied with continuing professional development access had halved, from 70% to 35%. Conclusions: Most results of the 2005 Hunter New England survey were verified. It was confirmed that a large proportion of the allied health workforce in the region intend leaving their job in the next 5 to 10years. This is a concern for the development of new service delivery models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-159
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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