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A comparative case study of prescribing and non-prescribing physiotherapists and podiatrists

Carey, Nicola, Edwards, Judith, Otter, Simon, Gage, Heather, WIlliams, Peter, Courtenay, Molly ORCID:, Moore, Ann and Stenner, Karen 2020. A comparative case study of prescribing and non-prescribing physiotherapists and podiatrists. BMC Health Services Research 20 , 1074. 10.1186/s12913-020-05918-8

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Background Increasing numbers of nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals across the world have prescribing rights for medicines: over 90,000 of the eligible United Kingdom workforce are qualified as non-doctor prescribers. In order to inform future developments, it is important to understand the benefits and impact of prescribing by allied health professionals including physiotherapists and podiatrists.Aim: to compare outcomes of physiotherapist and podiatrist Independent Prescriber (PP- IP) patients with those of physiotherapist and podiatrist non-prescribers (PP-NPs). Outcome measures included patient satisfaction, ease of access to services, quality of life and cost implications.Design: a mixed method comparative case study Methods: Using mixed methods of data collection, outcomes were compared between 7 sites where care was provided from a PP-IP (3 podiatrist and 4 physiotherapist IPs) and 7 sites from a PP-NP (3 podiatrist and 4 physiotherapist NPs). Patients were followed up for 2 months (2015-2016). Results: 489 patients were recruited: n=243 IP sites, and n=246 NP sites. Independent prescribing was found to be highly acceptable, and equivalent in terms of quality of life (p>0.05) and patient satisfaction (p≤0.05) compared to care provided by NPs. PP-IP care delivery was found to be more resource intensive than PP-NP, with longer consultation duration for IPs (around 6.5 mins), and a higher proportion of physiotherapy patients discussed with medical colleagues (around 9.5 minutes). ConclusionThis study provides new knowledge that PP-IPs provide high levels of care. PP-IP care delivery was found to be more resource intensive. Further research is required to explore cost effectiveness. A more focussed exploration within each profession using targeted outcome measures would enable a more robust comparison, inform future developments around the world and help ensure non-doctor prescribing is recognised as an effective way to alleviate shortfalls in the global workforce.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Additional Information: his article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1472-6963
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 11 November 2020
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 00:59

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