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Background and purposes: The purposes of this study were 1) to describe the general productivity and productivities in 4 special fields (neurological, orthopedic, pediatric, and cardiopulmonary) of physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) in Taiwan, and 2) to explore the association between characteristics of PT/PTA and productivity.

Method: Questionnaire was mailed to the members of all PT and PTA associations in Taiwan. The total mailing number of questionnaire for PT and PTA were 2466 and 1117, respectively. The content of this questionnaire included basic demographic data and information in clinical work. Survey period was between September, 2002 and December, 2002.

Results: Total returned questionnaires were 764 from PT and 269 from PTA. General productivity for aPT was 21.39 patients per day, assuming working 8 hours per day. For each specialization field, the productivity of neurological, orthopedic, pediatric, cardiop­ ulmonary patients of each PT per day was 19.72 (sd=9.50), 24.98 (sd=11.07), 15.55 (sd=8.75), and 21.42 (sd=10.63), respectively. For the association between PT characteristics and productivity, working place and PT' s gender were significantly associated with general productivity. PT's age, educational level, and working place were significantly associated with neurological and pediatric productivities. Working experience was also significantly associated with neurological productivity. PT' s characteristics were not significantly associated with orthopedic and cardiopulmonary productivity. General productivity for a PTA was 29.75 patients per day. The productivity of neurological, orthopedic, pediatric, cardiopulmonary patients of each PTA per day was 22.29 (sd=9.50), 35.07 (sd=11.07), 19.48 (sd=8.75), and 19.55 (sd=10.63), respectively. Only PTA's education level was signifi­cantly associated with orthopedic productivity. There were no other significant associations between any of the PTA's characteristics and productivity.

Conclusion: This study repported the current status of clincial practice in PT and PTA. There will be a series of articles investigating the projection of supply and demand of physical therapy manpower for the next twenty years.


Article text in Chinese.

Originally published in:

Chen, Y., Lee, H-C., Wang, W. T-Z., Yang, Y-R., Lee, S-J., Lin, H-C., & Wang, R-Y. (2004). Projection of Supply and Demand of the Physical Therapy Manpower in Taiwan for the Next Twenty Years: Part I. Current Status and Productivity of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. Formosan Journal of Physical Therapy, 29(5):281-292.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License