Rural inpatient rehabilitation by specialist outreach: Comparison with a city unit
Bowman, M., Faux, S., & Wilson, S. (2008). Rural inpatient rehabilitation by specialist outreach: Comparison with a city unit. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 16(4), 237-240. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2008.00970.x
Objective: To examine the effectiveness of a rural inpatient rehabilitation service provided by specialist outreach, and to compare outcomes with a large inner city unit.
Design: Descriptive study using health service outcome data.
Setting: Rural base hospital and inner city tertiary referral centre.
Participants: A total of 329 patients (234 city and 95 rural) admitted for inpatient rehabilitation.
Main outcome measures: Length of hospital stay, Functional Independence Measure, discharge destination.
Results: Functional Independence Measure gain per week was 5.4 for the rural outreach unit, compared with 5.5 for the city unit. Length of stay was shorter for the rural unit, with a higher proportion of patients discharged to nursing home.
Conclusions: Similar rates of functional improvement are achievable with rural inpatient rehabilitation provided by specialist outreach compared with a large inner city unit. Local factors probably account for the shorter length of stay in the rural unit.