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      The barriers and facilitators to routine outcome measurement by allied health professionals in practice: a systematic review

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          Abstract

          Background

          Allied Health Professionals today are required, more than ever before, to demonstrate their impact. However, despite at least 20 years of expectation, many services fail to deliver routine outcome measurement in practice. This systematic review investigates what helps and hinders routine outcome measurement of allied health professionals practice.

          Methods

          A systematic review protocol was developed comprising: a defined search strategy for PsycINFO, MEDLINE and CINHAL databases and inclusion criteria and systematic procedures for data extraction and quality appraisal. Studies were included if they were published in English and investigated facilitators and/or barriers to routine outcome measurement by allied health professionals. No restrictions were placed on publication type, design, country, or year of publication. Reference lists of included publications were searched to identify additional papers. Descriptive methods were used to synthesise the findings.

          Results

          960 papers were retrieved; 15 met the inclusion criteria. Professional groups represented were Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech and Language Therapy. The included literature varied in quality and design. Facilitators and barriers to routine outcome measurement exist at individual, managerial and organisational levels. Key factors affecting professionals’ use of routine outcome measurement include: professionals’ level of knowledge and confidence about using outcome measures, and the degree of organisational and peer-support professionals received with a view to promoting their work in practice.

          Conclusions

          Whilst the importance of routinely measuring outcomes within the allied health professions is well recognised, it has largely failed to be delivered in practice. Factors that influence clinicians’ ability and desire to undertake routine outcome measurement are bi-directional: they can act as either facilitators or barriers. Routine outcome measurement may only be deliverable if appropriate action is taken at individual therapist, team, and organisational levels of an organisation.

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          Most cited references41

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          Using thematic analysis in psychology

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            Measuring quality of life: Using quality of life measures in the clinical setting

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              Use of standardized outcome measures in physical therapist practice: perceptions and applications.

              Standardized instruments for measuring patients' activity limitations and participation restrictions have been advocated for use by rehabilitation professionals for many years. The available literature provides few recent reports of the use of these measures by physical therapists in the United States. The primary purpose of this study was to determine: (1) the extent of the use of standardized outcome measures and (2) perceptions regarding their benefits and barriers to their use. A secondary purpose was to examine factors associated with their use among physical therapists in clinical practice. The study used an observational design. A survey questionnaire comprising items regarding the use and perceived benefits and barriers of standardized outcome measures was sent to 1,000 randomly selected members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Forty-eight percent of participants used standardized outcome measures. The majority of participants (>90%) who used such measures believed that they enhanced communication with patients and helped direct the plan of care. The most frequently reported reasons for not using such measures included length of time for patients to complete them, length of time for clinicians to analyze the data, and difficulty for patients in completing them independently. Use of standardized outcome measures was related to specialty certification status, practice setting, and the age of the majority of patients treated. The limitations included an unvalidated survey for data collection and a sample limited to APTA members. Despite more than a decade of development and testing of standardized outcome measures appropriate for various conditions and practice settings, physical therapists have some distance to go in implementing their use routinely in most clinical settings. Based on the perceived barriers, alterations in practice management strategies and the instruments themselves may be necessary to increase their use.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Services Research
                BioMed Central
                1472-6963
                2012
                22 May 2012
                : 12
                : 96
                Affiliations
                [1 ]NMAHP Research Unit, Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK
                Article
                1472-6963-12-96
                10.1186/1472-6963-12-96
                3358245
                22506982
                4a5e96f6-355b-467c-9489-511ab726816e
                Copyright ©2012 Duncan and Murray; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 13 January 2012
                : 16 April 2012
                Categories
                Research Article

                Health & Social care
                outcome measurement,physical therapy,occupational therapy,allied health professional,physiotherapy,speech and language therapy,barriers,facilitators,routine outcome measurement

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