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The distribution of registered occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-13, 03:56 authored by E Yisma, Vincent VersaceVincent Versace, M Jones, S Walsh, S Jones, E May, LS Puah, M Gillam
BACKGROUND: In Australia, the distribution of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists density (per 10,000 population) by measure of location/rurality, usual resident population, and area-level socioeconomic status has not been described. OBJECTIVE: To describe the national as well as states-and territories-wide distribution of registered allied health workforce-occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists-by measures of rurality and area-level socioeconomic position in Australia. METHODS: A linked data study that brings together (1) the location of health practitioners' principal place of practice from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, (2) a measure of location/rurality-Modified Monash Model (MMM), and (3) an area-level measure of socioeconomic status-Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD). The provider-to-population ratio (i.e., density) of three Australia's allied health workforce (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists) was calculated according to the MMM classifications (i.e., Modified Monash 1-7) and IRSAD quintiles at state and national level. RESULTS: Nationwide, the density of occupational therapists and physiotherapists was highest in metropolitan areas (Modified Monash 1) and decreased with the increasing levels of the MMM categories. The national density of podiatrists was highest in Modified Monash 3 areas. The density of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists was highest in areas with IRSAD quintile 5 (i.e., the highest socioeconomic position) and decreased with the declining levels of the IRSAD quintiles nationwide. Moreover, there were notable disparities in the density of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists across each state and territory in Australia when stratified by the MMM classifications and IRSAD quintiles. CONCLUSIONS: There was uneven distribution of registered occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists when stratified by measures of location/rurality and area-level socioeconomic status across Australian jurisdictions. The density of these three groups of allied health workforce tended to be more concentrated in metropolitan and most advantaged areas while remote and most disadvantaged areas exhibited less allied health workforce distribution across each state and territory.

History

Journal

PloS one

Volume

18

Article number

e0291962

Pagination

e0291962-

Location

United States

ISSN

1932-6203

eISSN

1932-6203

Language

en

Editor/Contributor(s)

Clemence M

Issue

9

Publisher

Public Library of Science (PLoS)