WorkCover's physiotherapy forms: Purpose beyond paperwork?

Eva Schonstein*, Dianna T. Kenny, Christopher G. Maher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We retrospectively analysed 219 consecutive treatment plans submitted to a large New South Wales workers' compensation insurer for workers coded by the insurer as suffering from back pain. The purpose was to (i) describe the quality of goals of treatment provided to insurers by physiotherapists for workers with back pain using guidelines provided by the WorkCover Authority of New South Wales (WorkCover); (ii) compare the physiotherapists' prognoses against prognoses indicated in clinical practice guidelines; and (iii) make recommendations about the communication system between physiotherapists and insurers. The back pain of most treated workers was classified as acute and the majority of physiotherapists estimated that treatment would be of short duration, which is concordant with current treatment guidelines. However, most physiotherapists did not provide precise, measurable or time-specific treatment goals, despite this being emphasised by WorkCover. We propose ways of improving communication practices between physiotherapists and insurers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Physiotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication
  • Low back pain
  • Patient care planning
  • Workers' compensation


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