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Keywords:

  • content analysis;
  • elderly care;
  • occupational therapy;
  • physiotherapy;
  • records review;
  • rehabilitation;
  • staff

Abstract

The effect of increasing the level of physiotherapy services in elderly care was studied using an intervention and a control unit. The units had 20 and 2 hours of physiotherapy services per week, respectively. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy records were reviewed before and during the project. Physiotherapists also kept extended documentation over an 11-month period. Data analyses employed the chi-square test and content analysis. There was a significant increase in the number of patients receiving physiotherapy and occupational therapy within both units. No significant differences between the units were found for the number of patients receiving physiotherapy. The number of patients receiving occupational therapy differed significantly between units before as well as during the intervention. Primarily care assistants and auxiliary nurses initiated contact with the physiotherapists mainly for patient-orientated errands. Fifty per cent of the instructions given by the physiotherapist at the 20-hour unit related to movement-orientated activities of daily living. At the 2-hour unit, the majority of instructions (52%) were programme-orientated.