Paediatric physiotherapy services across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Cherie Zischke*, Rodney R Pope, Wayne A Hing, Nikki Milne, Alicia Spittle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

125 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: To determine current service type distribution, referral and waiting list factors impacting access to paediatric physiotherapy services in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Method: An anonymous online questionnaire, using the Qualtrics platform, was released via email to practicing physiotherapists in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom who at the time provided paediatric physiotherapy services. Data were analysed descriptively using SPSS. Results: A total of 244 (Australia n=76, New Zealand n=21, United Kingdom n=147) physiotherapists providing services to paediatric clients responded. Those working in community-based organisations made up 42.6% (n=104), with 27% (n=66) in hospitals, 11.5% (n=28) in schools, and 10.2% (n=28) in private practice settings. Most services accepted medical practitioner referrals (80.7%, n=197), with 40.6% also accepting parent referrals (40.6%, n=99). Waiting times for physiotherapy assessments varied across age groups and countries. Mean waiting time for children 0-12 months, 13 months–5 years and 6–10 years was 1.02, 2.12, & 2.53 months respectively (Australia); 5.27, 5.55 & 2.00 months respectively (New Zealand) and 1.37, 2.26 & 2.87 months respectively (United Kingdom). Conclusion: Waiting times for paediatric physiotherapy assessment are lengthy across all three countries. Alternative methods of assessment, such as telehealth, should be investigated as a potential way to reduce these wait times. Key Practice Points: • Lengthy wait times for paediatric Physiotherapy assessment is currently an issue across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. • Further research is needed to determine methods to reduce this time and improve access to services. Proposed impact, if any, on the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: The results of this research are likely to benefit both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations similarly.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019
EventTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 17 Oct 201919 Oct 2019 (Book of Abstracts)


ConferenceTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference
Abbreviated titleAPA
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Paediatric physiotherapy services across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this