The effectiveness of a student-led outpatient rehabilitation clinic in a hospital setting

Andrew Grady, Sascha Karunaratne, Renee Fortunato, Paul Bowron, Mark Buhagiar, Lucy Chipchase

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: The challenge of meeting demand for effective outpatient services, in the presence of limited resources, is a long-term issue facing physiotherapy departments. The concept of student-led clinics increasing productivity has been suggested, but not evaluated well in Australian public hospital settings. Aim: To investigate if a physiotherapy student-led clinic in a hospital outpatient rehabilitation setting was capable of preserving service productivity whilst maintaining patient satisfaction. Methods: Over a 40-week period, clinical productivity in the student-led clinic was compared to historical data from the same clinic when run by a physiotherapist alone. Outcomes of waiting times, throughput and treatment intensity were compared. Patient satisfaction responses to a modified Physical Therapy Outpatient Satisfaction Survey were also compared to those from a rehabilitation hospital. Results: To compare clinical productivity, 339 patients were evaluated. Waiting times in the student-led clinic were reduced by 19.1 (95%CI ¼ 7.4–30.8; p ¼ 0.001) days, with a 72% increases in patients able to be serviced. This occurred with no statistically significant differences between groups in terms of treatment intensity. The results from 105 patients revealed that those treated in the student-led clinic felt they received thorough treatment, while being satisfied with the amount and
clarity of communication more often than in the comparator clinic. Conclusion: Overall service productivity was improved in the studentled clinic whilst maintaining the quality and communication of treatment direction as perceived by patients. The results of this study suggest that student-led clinics are able to assist in providing timely and efficient care to patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number2S
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventSmart Strokes 2017 - Marriott Resort, Surfers Paradise, Australia
Duration: 10 Aug 201711 Aug 2017


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