Community health-care planning in Western Australian Country Health Service-South West: An evaluation of patient views


  • E. Hunt, MDiet, APD, Dietitian

  • J. Moore, BAppSc Hons (Physio), Community Health Manager

  • J. Sherriff, PhD, Adv APD, Associate Professor

E. Hunt, Nutrition and Dietetics Department, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia. Email:


Aims:  To investigate community health patients' impressions of care planning and their relationship with allied health professionals in a rural town in Western Australia.

Methods:  Focus groups were conducted followed by a survey to identify patients' opinions on care planning and their relationships with health professionals.

Results:  Focus groups and a survey identified that patients generally had positive attitudes towards their experiences with community-based allied health professionals. Participants identified some of the attributes that they valued in allied health professionals. Many participants (39%) believed that they had a partnership with the health professional and also valued having a shared decision-making power with the health professional (46%); however, 17% identified that they would prefer the health professional to assume more of the decision-making power.

Conclusions:  More work is needed to create a health culture in which patients want to manage their own health and can develop a relationship with their health professional that allows them to achieve this.