Saturday allied health services for geriatric evaluation and management: A controlled before-and-after trial

Nicholas F. Taylor, Katherine Lawler, Natasha K. Brusco, Casey L. Peiris, Katherine E. Harding, Grant D. Scroggie, Jude N. Boyd, Anita M. Wilton, Freya Coker, John G. Ferraro, Nora Shields

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Objective: To assess the effect of Saturday allied health services on a geriatric evaluation and management ward. Methods: A controlled before-and-after trial at two wards. Allied health services were added to usual weekday staffing on Saturdays for 6 months on the experimental ward. Length of stay, functional independence, readmissions, discharge destination and costs were evaluated at pre-intervention (N = 331) and intervention (N = 462). Results: Relative to the comparison ward, the experimental ward had longer length of stay (mean 7.8 days, 95% CI 4.7-10.8), fewer readmissions (mean 3.1 days, 95% CI 0.6-5.7) and no difference in the proportion discharged home. Cost-effectiveness demonstrated no significant difference in cost ($2639, 95% CI $-386 to $5647) and functional independence gain (3.6 units, 95% CI 0.8-6.5) favouring the experimental ward. Conclusion: These findings do not support the provision of additional Saturday allied health services in geriatric evaluation and management to reduce length of stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • allied health occupations
  • cost-effectiveness
  • health services
  • rehabilitation
  • workforce

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