Are we using support workers effectively? the relationship between patient and team characteristics and support worker utilisation in older people's community-based rehabilitation services in England

Health & Social Care in the Community
Anna MoranMike Bradburn


This research explores the relationship between support worker utilisation and patient- and team-level characteristics using a prospective longitudinal study of 20 older people's community rehabilitation teams. Between January and September 2009, 462 Whole Time Equivalent Staff and 1913 patients participated in the study. Patient dependency, health status (Therapy Outcome Measures, EQ-5D and Levels of Care tool) and demographic data were collected alongside detailed staff activity data for patients during the recruitment period. Multivariate analyses were used to determine the relationship between the proportion of care delivered by support workers team and patient variables. Support workers delivered up to 36% of direct patient care and spent less time per patient contact (36.0 minutes, SD 37.7, range 0-600) than qualified professionals (mean time per contact 75.8 minutes, SD 32.9, range 0-334). Less-dependent and female patients had a greater proportion of support worker input, with a 4.9% increase in face-to-face support worker time for every 0.1 unit increase in EQ-5D (95% CI 0.3-9.6, P = 0.038), while females had an additional 5.1% of their total contact time with support workers compared with males (95% CI 1.9-8.4, P = 0....Continue Reading


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