Exploring functional outcomes & allied health staffing levels in an inpatient paediatric rehabilitation unit.

This study provides data from a paediatric tertiary hospital on the length of stay, functional improvement and allied health workload for children and adolescents on active inpatient rehabilitation programs.

An audit was conducted of records of patients managed through an inpatient rehabilitation program at a 359 bed tertiary children’s hospital in Brisbane, Australia between December 2014 and December 2015. Data relating to diagnosis, length of stay, functional change, occasions of allied health service and hours of patient attributable allied health professional time were collected.

Data on 94 children and adolescents with a total of 102 rehabilitation episodes of care were sourced. The greatest average length of stay was for the “Stroke” group. The highest average allied health professional contact hours were for the “Brain Dysfunction – Traumatic” group. The greatest average functional change was observed in the “Brain Dysfunction- Traumatic group.” Physiotherapy accounted for the largest proportion of allied health professional service time, with an average of 32% of total time.

Data from this tertiary hospital-based paediatric inpatient rehabilitation program provide information on the length of stay, functional improvement and allied health professional contact for patients across broad diagnostic groupings. This information is useful for other paediatric rehabilitation services when planning for allied health staffing in service development.