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Disabil Rehabil. 2007 Apr 30;29(8):665-70.

The availability of allied health care in nursing homes.

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Department of Nursing Home Medicine, Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To determine the availability of allied health care in nursing homes in the Netherlands, and its dependency on characteristics of the nursing home.


Structured surveys by telephone were carried out in a sample of 100 from a country total of 286 somatic (for somatic patients only) and combined (with units for both somatic and psychogeriatric patients) nursing homes. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to determine relationships between the availability of care and the type of nursing home, its country location (urban/non-urban) and the presence of specific wards/units within the nursing home.


Physiotherapy and occupational therapy were present in almost all nursing homes (99% and 93% respectively); 92% of the nursing homes offered speech- and language therapy and 88% had dietetics available. Average availability rates were: 2.16 full time equivalents per 100 beds/places for physiotherapy, 0.96 for occupational therapy, 0.38 for speech- and language therapy and 0.18 for dietetics. Somatic nursing homes and nursing homes with stroke-units, day-care, or outpatient care present, had higher availability rates on allied health care.


Allied health care disciplines varied in terms of full-time equivalents per 100 beds/places. Per discipline also a wide variation exists in full-time equivalents per 100 beds/places among all participating nursing homes, regardless of their type. Characteristics of nursing homes had small effects on availability rates. International research is recommended in order to compare data and eventually reach consensus on optimal availability rates of allied health care in nursing homes, tuned to the demand.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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