Hosting pre-registration physiotherapy students in Australian private practices does not change service and economic outcomes; an economic analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Roma Forbes
  • Alana Dinsdale
  • Sandra G. Brauer
  • Ruth Dunwoodie
  • Jonas Fooken
  • Diana Khanna


Background: Despite perceived economic barriers to hosting physiotherapy students in private practice settings, no research to date has investigated the effect of hosting students on service delivery and income during clinical placements. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of student placement provision on service delivery and income in private practice settings. Methods: A retrospective economic analysis using a temporal synthetic control period was undertaken. Physiotherapy private practices who had hosted at least one pre-registration physiotherapy student with a matched control period in the subsequent or previous year were invited to participate. Direct service and economic comparisons were conducted across five-week periods and individual placement weeks. Results: No significant differences in occasions of service and income were found when students were hosted and not hosted, and this remained non-significant after controlling for practice-specific characteristics. The overall mean income per practice was higher for week one of the student placement (95% CI: 657.35 to 1240.95) as compared to week one of the control period, but this finding was not significant. Overall mean income per practice was significantly higher in weeks two to five of the student placement (95% CI: 29.03 to 1732.19) when compared to weeks two to five of the control period. Conclusion: Hosting pre-registration physiotherapy students within private practice settings is not associated with a reduction in service and economic outcomes. Hosting physiotherapy students has a positive economic effect following their initial placement week.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number102318
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Early online date9 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021