Questions asked of a pathway – a pattern identified of repeatedly re-referred patients to musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy

Daniel Topley, Daniel Paul Kerr, Iseult M Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

• Objectives To investigate, describe and explain the occurrence and implications of patients repeatedly referred into musculoskeletal physiotherapy departments for the same or different diagnoses. • Methods Physiotherapists have reported anecdotally a pattern of patients repeatedly re-referred into musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy departments, many for the same diagnoses of unspecified chronic pain. Statistical outputs, or ‘exceptional reports’, from the relevant NHS Trust patient database were generated in order to examine these claims. An exhaustive systematic literature search and review was carried out within the Cochrane library, AMED, Embase, Medline and PubMed databases to identify current knowledge of the occurrence within the published literature. These findings precede and informed the design of a further, ongoing, mixed-methods investigation. • Results Statistical outputs from the Local Community Information Database (LCID) corroborated the problematic patterns raised by Trust physiotherapists. 13,274 patients had multiple referrals over 3 years (2012-2015), far surpassing expected rates even for chronic/degenerative conditions in an ageing population (Miller et al, 2005) and responsible for one third of all referrals over the period (approximately 30,000 of 90,000 referrals). A systematic search investigated current knowledge on the issue. 56 studies were retained by title after removing duplicates. Screening the results by abstract left 32 studies. Only 4 studies however directly addressed repeated re-referral, while 28 investigated initial referrals in relation to secondary-primary care interface quality, written referral content, and predictive/influential factors to referral. No study investigated repeated re-referrals in this setting. A variety of factors affect initial referral decisions, including diagnoses/severity, GP characteristics (Jorgensen & Olesen, 2008), professional interaction (Peters et al., 1994), setting (Freburger et al., 2003), and patient expectations (Ehrmann-Feldmann et al., 1996). There is no current comparison with repeat referrals, nor how patient status at time of previous discharge affects subsequent referral decisions. • Conclusions A significant gap in knowledge exists regarding populations documented as repeatedly re-referred for the same diagnoses into musculoskeletal physiotherapy, and comparison of initial to subsequent referrals. Further investigation is warranted in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the occurrence. Stakeholders, i.e. patients, physiotherapists, and referrers, ought to be included in this research, and their insights and perceptions ought to contribute to explaining the picture obtained.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2016
EventISCP - Wexford, Ireland
Duration: 14 Oct 2016 → …

Conference

ConferenceISCP
Period14/10/16 → …

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Outpatients
Referral and Consultation
Physical Therapists
Databases
Secondary Care
PubMed
Chronic Pain
Population
Libraries
Primary Health Care
Research

Keywords

  • re-referral
  • physiotherapy

Cite this

@inproceedings{b59002586f0146b38f5f11db08f193f1,
title = "Questions asked of a pathway – a pattern identified of repeatedly re-referred patients to musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy",
abstract = "• Objectives To investigate, describe and explain the occurrence and implications of patients repeatedly referred into musculoskeletal physiotherapy departments for the same or different diagnoses. • Methods Physiotherapists have reported anecdotally a pattern of patients repeatedly re-referred into musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy departments, many for the same diagnoses of unspecified chronic pain. Statistical outputs, or ‘exceptional reports’, from the relevant NHS Trust patient database were generated in order to examine these claims. An exhaustive systematic literature search and review was carried out within the Cochrane library, AMED, Embase, Medline and PubMed databases to identify current knowledge of the occurrence within the published literature. These findings precede and informed the design of a further, ongoing, mixed-methods investigation. • Results Statistical outputs from the Local Community Information Database (LCID) corroborated the problematic patterns raised by Trust physiotherapists. 13,274 patients had multiple referrals over 3 years (2012-2015), far surpassing expected rates even for chronic/degenerative conditions in an ageing population (Miller et al, 2005) and responsible for one third of all referrals over the period (approximately 30,000 of 90,000 referrals). A systematic search investigated current knowledge on the issue. 56 studies were retained by title after removing duplicates. Screening the results by abstract left 32 studies. Only 4 studies however directly addressed repeated re-referral, while 28 investigated initial referrals in relation to secondary-primary care interface quality, written referral content, and predictive/influential factors to referral. No study investigated repeated re-referrals in this setting. A variety of factors affect initial referral decisions, including diagnoses/severity, GP characteristics (Jorgensen & Olesen, 2008), professional interaction (Peters et al., 1994), setting (Freburger et al., 2003), and patient expectations (Ehrmann-Feldmann et al., 1996). There is no current comparison with repeat referrals, nor how patient status at time of previous discharge affects subsequent referral decisions. • Conclusions A significant gap in knowledge exists regarding populations documented as repeatedly re-referred for the same diagnoses into musculoskeletal physiotherapy, and comparison of initial to subsequent referrals. Further investigation is warranted in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the occurrence. Stakeholders, i.e. patients, physiotherapists, and referrers, ought to be included in this research, and their insights and perceptions ought to contribute to explaining the picture obtained.",
keywords = "re-referral, physiotherapy",
author = "Daniel Topley and Kerr, {Daniel Paul} and Wilson, {Iseult M}",
note = "Reference text: Ehrmann - Feldmann et al., (1996) Physician Referral to Physical Therapy in a Cohort of Workers Compensated for Low Back Pain; Physical Therapy, 76(2); pp150-156 Freburger et al., (2003), Physician referrals to Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions; Arch Phys Med Rehabil Vol 84, pp1839-1849 Jorgenson & Olesen (2008), Predictors for referral to physiotherapy from general practice; Scand J Prim Health Care Vol 19; pp48-53 Miller et al., (2005), Geriatric Referral Patterns for Physical Therapy: A Descriptive Analysis; J Geriatr Phys Ther, 28(1); pp20-27 Peters et al., (1994), Musculoskeletal clinic in general practice: study of one year’s referrals; Brit Journ Gen Prac Vol 44; pp25-29",
year = "2016",
month = "10",
day = "14",
language = "English",
booktitle = "Unknown Host Publication",

}

Questions asked of a pathway – a pattern identified of repeatedly re-referred patients to musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy. / Topley, Daniel; Kerr, Daniel Paul; Wilson, Iseult M.

Unknown Host Publication. 2016.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Questions asked of a pathway – a pattern identified of repeatedly re-referred patients to musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy

AU - Topley, Daniel

AU - Kerr, Daniel Paul

AU - Wilson, Iseult M

N1 - Reference text: Ehrmann - Feldmann et al., (1996) Physician Referral to Physical Therapy in a Cohort of Workers Compensated for Low Back Pain; Physical Therapy, 76(2); pp150-156 Freburger et al., (2003), Physician referrals to Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions; Arch Phys Med Rehabil Vol 84, pp1839-1849 Jorgenson & Olesen (2008), Predictors for referral to physiotherapy from general practice; Scand J Prim Health Care Vol 19; pp48-53 Miller et al., (2005), Geriatric Referral Patterns for Physical Therapy: A Descriptive Analysis; J Geriatr Phys Ther, 28(1); pp20-27 Peters et al., (1994), Musculoskeletal clinic in general practice: study of one year’s referrals; Brit Journ Gen Prac Vol 44; pp25-29

PY - 2016/10/14

Y1 - 2016/10/14

N2 - • Objectives To investigate, describe and explain the occurrence and implications of patients repeatedly referred into musculoskeletal physiotherapy departments for the same or different diagnoses. • Methods Physiotherapists have reported anecdotally a pattern of patients repeatedly re-referred into musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy departments, many for the same diagnoses of unspecified chronic pain. Statistical outputs, or ‘exceptional reports’, from the relevant NHS Trust patient database were generated in order to examine these claims. An exhaustive systematic literature search and review was carried out within the Cochrane library, AMED, Embase, Medline and PubMed databases to identify current knowledge of the occurrence within the published literature. These findings precede and informed the design of a further, ongoing, mixed-methods investigation. • Results Statistical outputs from the Local Community Information Database (LCID) corroborated the problematic patterns raised by Trust physiotherapists. 13,274 patients had multiple referrals over 3 years (2012-2015), far surpassing expected rates even for chronic/degenerative conditions in an ageing population (Miller et al, 2005) and responsible for one third of all referrals over the period (approximately 30,000 of 90,000 referrals). A systematic search investigated current knowledge on the issue. 56 studies were retained by title after removing duplicates. Screening the results by abstract left 32 studies. Only 4 studies however directly addressed repeated re-referral, while 28 investigated initial referrals in relation to secondary-primary care interface quality, written referral content, and predictive/influential factors to referral. No study investigated repeated re-referrals in this setting. A variety of factors affect initial referral decisions, including diagnoses/severity, GP characteristics (Jorgensen & Olesen, 2008), professional interaction (Peters et al., 1994), setting (Freburger et al., 2003), and patient expectations (Ehrmann-Feldmann et al., 1996). There is no current comparison with repeat referrals, nor how patient status at time of previous discharge affects subsequent referral decisions. • Conclusions A significant gap in knowledge exists regarding populations documented as repeatedly re-referred for the same diagnoses into musculoskeletal physiotherapy, and comparison of initial to subsequent referrals. Further investigation is warranted in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the occurrence. Stakeholders, i.e. patients, physiotherapists, and referrers, ought to be included in this research, and their insights and perceptions ought to contribute to explaining the picture obtained.

AB - • Objectives To investigate, describe and explain the occurrence and implications of patients repeatedly referred into musculoskeletal physiotherapy departments for the same or different diagnoses. • Methods Physiotherapists have reported anecdotally a pattern of patients repeatedly re-referred into musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy departments, many for the same diagnoses of unspecified chronic pain. Statistical outputs, or ‘exceptional reports’, from the relevant NHS Trust patient database were generated in order to examine these claims. An exhaustive systematic literature search and review was carried out within the Cochrane library, AMED, Embase, Medline and PubMed databases to identify current knowledge of the occurrence within the published literature. These findings precede and informed the design of a further, ongoing, mixed-methods investigation. • Results Statistical outputs from the Local Community Information Database (LCID) corroborated the problematic patterns raised by Trust physiotherapists. 13,274 patients had multiple referrals over 3 years (2012-2015), far surpassing expected rates even for chronic/degenerative conditions in an ageing population (Miller et al, 2005) and responsible for one third of all referrals over the period (approximately 30,000 of 90,000 referrals). A systematic search investigated current knowledge on the issue. 56 studies were retained by title after removing duplicates. Screening the results by abstract left 32 studies. Only 4 studies however directly addressed repeated re-referral, while 28 investigated initial referrals in relation to secondary-primary care interface quality, written referral content, and predictive/influential factors to referral. No study investigated repeated re-referrals in this setting. A variety of factors affect initial referral decisions, including diagnoses/severity, GP characteristics (Jorgensen & Olesen, 2008), professional interaction (Peters et al., 1994), setting (Freburger et al., 2003), and patient expectations (Ehrmann-Feldmann et al., 1996). There is no current comparison with repeat referrals, nor how patient status at time of previous discharge affects subsequent referral decisions. • Conclusions A significant gap in knowledge exists regarding populations documented as repeatedly re-referred for the same diagnoses into musculoskeletal physiotherapy, and comparison of initial to subsequent referrals. Further investigation is warranted in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the occurrence. Stakeholders, i.e. patients, physiotherapists, and referrers, ought to be included in this research, and their insights and perceptions ought to contribute to explaining the picture obtained.

KW - re-referral

KW - physiotherapy

M3 - Conference contribution

BT - Unknown Host Publication

ER -