Disability and rehabilitation vol:28 issue:22 pages:1417-24
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the time allocated to therapeutic activities (TA) and non-therapeutic activities (NTA) of physiotherapists (PT) and occupational therapists (OT) in stroke rehabilitation units in four European countries. METHOD: Therapists documented their activities in 15-min periods for two weeks. They recorded: activity, number of patients, number of stroke patients, involvement of other people, location and frequency of each activity. Kruskal-Wallis tests and negative binomial regression models were used to compare activities between professional groups and between units. RESULTS: The average proportion of TA per day ranged between 32.9% and 66.1% and was higher for PT than for OT in each unit. For OT, significant differences emerged between the units in the proportion of time allocated to TA compared to NTA with British OTs spending significantly less time in TA. In the Belgian unit, three times less time was spent on patient-related co-ordination activities (e.g., administration, ward rounds) compared to the British and Swiss units. CONCLUSIONS: Time allocation differed between PT and OT and between units, affecting the time available for TA. Further investigation is necessary to study the effect of work organization in stroke rehabilitation units on the efficiency of rehabilitation regimes.