Access to publicly funded outpatient physiotherapy services in Quebec: waiting lists and management strategies.

TitreAccess to publicly funded outpatient physiotherapy services in Quebec: waiting lists and management strategies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDeslauriers S, Raymond M-H, Laliberté M, Lavoie A, Desmeules F, Feldman DE, Perreault K
JournalDisabil Rehabil
Pagination1-9
Date Published2016 Oct 19
ISSN1464-5165
Abstract

PURPOSE: Problems with access to outpatient physiotherapy services have been reported in publicly funded healthcare systems worldwide. A few studies have reported management strategies aimed at reducing extensive waiting lists, but their association with waiting times is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to document access to public outpatient physiotherapy services for persons with musculoskeletal disorders in hospitals and explore organizational factors associated with waiting time.METHODS: We surveyed outpatient physiotherapy services in publicly funded hospitals in the province of Quebec (Canada).RESULTS: A total of 97 sites responded (99%) to the survey. The median waiting time was more than six months for 41% of outpatient physiotherapy services. The waiting time management strategies most frequently used were attendance and cancelation policies (99.0%) and referral prioritization (95.9%). Based on multivariate analyses, the use of a prioritization process with an initial evaluation and intervention was associated with shorter waiting times (p = 0.008).CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that a large number of persons wait a long time for publicly funded physiotherapy services in Quebec. Based on our results, implementation of a prioritization process with an initial evaluation and intervention could help improve timely access to outpatient physiotherapy services. Implications for Rehabilitation Access to publicly funded outpatient physiotherapy services is limited by long waiting times in a great proportion of Quebec's hospitals. The use of a specific prioritization process that combines an evaluation and an intervention could possibly help improve timely access to services. Policy-makers, managers, and other stakeholders should work together to address the issue of limited access to publicly funded outpatient physiotherapy services.

DOI10.1080/09638288.2016.1238967
Alternate JournalDisabil Rehabil
PubMed ID27758150