Variation in inpatient allied health service provision in Australian and New Zealand hospitals

Megan Jepson*, Mitchell Sarkies, Terry Haines, Evidence Translation in Allied Health (EviTAH Group)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the variability of allied health services on weekends, relative to weekdays, throughout Australian and New Zealand hospitals.

Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional observational study embedded within a cluster randomised control trial. Allied health managers provided administrative data relating to allied health service events.

Results: In one month, there were a total of 243 549 allied health service events recorded from 91 sampled hospitals. The mean difference between weekday and weekend allied health service events (daily, per ward) for physiotherapy was 6.52 (95% CI 5.65 to 7.40), acute wards 12.03 (95% CI 10.25 to 13.82) and for metropolitan hospitals 14.47 (95% CI 12.22 to 16.73), revealing more allied health service events of longer duration on weekdays compared to weekends.

Conclusions: This research is the first of its kind to describe variation in allied health service provision and potential research to practice gaps across weekday and weekend days in various inpatient settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number1
Early online date3 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • after-hours care
  • allied health occupations
  • evidence-based practice
  • health services research
  • inpatients


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