A Review of Weekend Physiotherapy Services for patients with Burn Injuries

Ms Catherine  Sharpe2, Ms Anita Plaza1,

1Royal Brisbane And Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, 2Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia


Following hospital admission with a burn injury, Physiotherapy intervention is required to optimise respiratory status; improve range of motion, strength and function; and minimise burn scar contracture development. It is well known that whilst burn admissions can occur any day of the week, Physiotherapy services are predominantly rostered over weekdays with a prioritised weekend service. Furthermore, this weekend service is often delivered by physiotherapists with minimal burn experience. The aim of this study was therefore to review the current Burn Weekend Physiotherapy service at the Professor Stuart Pegg Adult Burn Centre and compare our service to those weekend services provided by other adult burn centres in Australia and New Zealand.

Method: A retrospective review was conducted of all patients who received Weekend Physiotherapy services whilst admitted to the Professor Stuart Pegg Adult Burn Centre in 2017. Data collected included patient demographics, type and time of Physiotherapy service provided, staff training and number of new admissions reviewed. A survey was also sent to Adult Burn centres across Australia and New Zealand to collect comparable information about their Weekend Physiotherapy Service.

Results: 667 Physiotherapy Burn Weekend treatments were provided in 2017 with a mean of 6.5 patients (range 1-12 patients) seen each weekend day. Mean age of patients was 39.8 years (range 16-89) and mean %TBSA was 28.07 (range 0.25 – 90%). Mean overall Physiotherapy time provided was 334 minutes (range 70-530minutes) on a Saturday and 312 minutes (range 90-510) on a Sunday. 81.5% of Physiotherapy treatments were conducted by a physiotherapist who had completed a minimum 3 month work rotation in the burn unit. 90% of all new weekend burn admissions were reviewed by the Physiotherapy weekend service. Results from the survey of other Burn centres will also be presented.

Conclusion: A comprehensive review was undertaken to establish the extent of Weekend Physiotherapy services provided at the RBWH and comparisons were made with other burn centres across Australia and New Zealand. These results provide valuable information to support staffing levels and training requirements to ensure patients have equity of access to Physiotherapy services regardless of the day of the week.


Not applicable – poster presentation


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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