An evidence-based framework to measure quality of allied health care
Background: There is no standard way of describing the complexities of allied health (AH) care, or its quality. AH is an umbrella term which excludes medicine and nursing, and variably includes disciplines which provide therapy, diagnostic, or scientific services. This paper outlines a framework for a standard approach to evaluate the quality of AH therapy services.
Methods: A realist synthesis framework describing what AH does, how it does it, and what is achieved, was developed. This was populated by the findings of a systematic review of literature published since 1980 reporting concepts of quality relevant to AH. Articles were included on quality measurement concepts, theories, debates, and/or hypothetical frameworks.
Results: Of 139 included articles, 21 reported on descriptions of quality potentially relevant to AH. From these, 24 measures of quality were identified, with 15 potentially relating to what AH does, 17 to how AH delivers care, 8 relating to short term functional outcomes, and 9 relating to longer term functional and health system outcomes.
Conclusions: A novel evidence-based quality framework was proposed to address the complexity of AH therapies. This should assist in better evaluation of AH processes and outcomes, costs, and evidence-based engagement of AH providers in healthcare teams.
Publication titleHealth Research Policy and Systems
Department/SchoolWicking Dementia Research Education Centre
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementLicensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/