Recognition of physiotherapists’ expertise in Parkinson’s disease
1 Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, IQ healthcare 137, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2 Department of Neurology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:430 doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-430Published: 23 October 2013
Publicly available information comparing performance across quality and costs has proliferated in recent years, both about individual healthcare professionals and hospitals. This type of information is now becoming increasingly available for physiotherapists with expertise in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our study aimed to explore the ability of people with Parkinson’s disease to recognise expertise, and to what extent respondents selectively choose such expert physiotherapists.
We used claim data from the period 2009–2010 to select customers with PD who claimed physiotherapy. A random sample of 500 eligible respondents received a paper-based survey. We used descriptive statistics to compare the respondent characteristics, a qualitative programme to analyse the qualitative items, and univariate and multivariate regression.
Most respondents (89%) took their referring physician’s advice when selecting a physiotherapist, although this advice rarely was supported with arguments. The remaining respondents (11%) searched for comparative performance information about physiotherapists. Respondents who recognised the added value of PD expertise among physiotherapists were 3.28 times as likely to search for comparative performance information as those who did not understand. Respondents were willing to switch to an expert physiotherapist (68%), and this willingness increased if they recognised the value of PD expertise (p < .001).
The participants were able to recognise certain aspects of expertise. Though they showed relatively few signs of selectively choice behaviour for expert physiotherapists. Both respondents and referring professionals need more understanding about the added value of an expert physiotherapist, to foster selective provider choice.