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The barriers and facilitators to routine outcome measurement by allied health professionals in practice: a systematic review

Duncan, Edward AS; Murray, Jennifer


Edward AS Duncan


Background: Allied Health Professionals today are required, more than ever before, to demonstrate their impact.
However, despite at least 20 years of expectation, many services fail to deliver routine outcome measurement in
practice. This systematic review investigates what helps and hinders routine outcome measurement of allied health
professionals practice.
Methods: A systematic review protocol was developed comprising: a defined search strategy for PsycINFO,
MEDLINE and CINHAL databases and inclusion criteria and systematic procedures for data extraction and quality
appraisal. Studies were included if they were published in English and investigated facilitators and/or barriers to
routine outcome measurement by allied health professionals. No restrictions were placed on publication type,
design, country, or year of publication. Reference lists of included publications were searched to identify additional
papers. Descriptive methods were used to synthesise the findings.
Results: 960 papers were retrieved; 15 met the inclusion criteria. Professional groups represented were
Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech and Language Therapy. The included literature varied in quality
and design. Facilitators and barriers to routine outcome measurement exist at individual, managerial and
organisational levels. Key factors affecting professionals’ use of routine outcome measurement include: professionals’
level of knowledge and confidence about using outcome measures, and the degree of organisational and peersupport
professionals received with a view to promoting their work in practice.
Conclusions: Whilst the importance of routinely measuring outcomes within the allied health professions is well
recognised, it has largely failed to be delivered in practice. Factors that influence clinicians’ ability and desire to
undertake routine outcome measurement are bi-directional: they can act as either facilitators or barriers. Routine
outcome measurement may only be deliverable if appropriate action is taken at individual therapist, team, and
organisational levels of an organisation.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 22, 2012
Publication Date 2012-12
Deposit Date Feb 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 16, 2015
Electronic ISSN 1472-6963
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 96
Keywords Allied health professional; Routine outcome measurement; Outcome measurement; Facilitators; Barriers;
Occupational therapy; Physical therapy; Physiotherapy; Speech and language therapy;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Feb 16, 2015


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