Referral of patients with neuromuscular disease to occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy: usual practice versus multidisciplinary advice.
until further notice
SourceDisability and Rehabilitation, 29, 9, (2007), pp. 717-26
Article / Letter to editor
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Centre for Quality of Care Research
Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
Disability and Rehabilitation
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; EBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; EBP 4: Quality of Care; NCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCEBP 6:Quality of nursing and allied health care; UMCN 3.1: Neuromuscular development and genetic disorders; UMCN 3.2 Cognitive Neurosciences
PURPOSE To compare the volume of occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT) and speech therapy (ST) as currently received by patients with neuromuscular diseases with the volume of OT, PT and ST recommended by a multidisciplinary team. METHOD: The use of OT, PT and ST was studied retrospectively and prospectively in a reference group (n = 106) receiving usual care and in an intervention group (n = 102) receiving advice based on multidisciplinary assessments. A cost analysis was made and the implementation of the advice was evaluated at 6 months. INTERVENTION: Multidisciplinary assessments consisted of a single consultation by OT, PT and ST each, followed by a multidisciplinary meeting and integrated advice. OUTCOME VARIABLES: Volume (frequency times duration) of therapy, relative over- and underuse of therapy and costs of therapy and intervention. RESULTS: Compared to the multidisciplinary advice, there was 40% underuse of OT among patients with neuromuscular disease. For PT, there was 32% overuse and 22% underuse; for ST, there was neither over- nor underuse. Some 40% of patients received once-only advice regarding ST compared to 27% regarding OT and 19% regarding PT. The costs of the multidisciplinary advice were estimated at euro245 per patient. If fully implemented, our multidisciplinary approach would result in a mean cost savings of euro85.20 per patient. The recommended therapy had, however, been implemented only partially at 6 months follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Some patients with a neuromuscular disease do not receive any form of allied healthcare, whereas they should. Among patients with neuromuscular disease who do receive some form of allied healthcare, quite a few receive these treatments for too long periods of time. Ways need to be developed to improve implementation of the multidisciplinary advice and to obtain a more favourable balance between its costs and benefits.
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