The impact of additional allied health staffing on rehabilitation outcomes at discharge from a sub-acute geriatric evaluation and management unit: A quasi-experimental, pre-post intervention study

Melanie K. Farlie, Freya French, Terry P. Haines, Nicholas F. Taylor, Cylie Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of increasing allied health staffing levels on patient and health service outcomes across 1) all Geriatric Evaluation and Management patients, and 2) Geriatric Evaluation and Management patients discharged to home in the community. Design: Quasi-experimental, pre-post intervention study. Setting: Two sub-acute hospital units in an Australian, tertiary health service. Subjects: Data related to patients admitted to the study units, who were classified as Geriatric Evaluation and Management patients. Interventions: Comparison of therapy time across two units with a differential in staffing allocation over a six-month trial period. Main measures: Primary outcomes: length of stay, readmission rate, and improvement on the Functional Independence Measure. Secondary outcomes: total cost of admission per patient and number of allied health sessions. Results: Data were analysed for 214 patients (mean age = 79.9, standard deviation (SD) = 9.4 years, mean Functional Independence Measure (FIM = 64.9, SD = 21.2) admitted to the intervention unit, and 199 patients (mean age = 81.3, SD = 8.5, mean FIM = 64.2, SD = 24.0) admitted to the control unit. The overall difference in staffing allocation between the control and intervention units for the trial period was 21%. There was no statistically significant difference between units in subacute length of stay (Adj Coef = -0.10 days, 95%CI = -0.39 to 0.19), rate of readmission (OR = 1.0, 95%CI = 0.5 to 2.0) or change in function (Coef = 1.42 FIM change score, 95%CI = -2.4 to 5.3). Conclusions: Increasing allied health staffing allocation to a unit over six-months did not impact change in function or length of stay for patients admitted for Geriatric Evaluation and Management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1110–1119
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • hospital
  • outcomes
  • rehabilitation
  • staffing
  • subacute

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