Demographic spread of physical therapists
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ABSTRACT Background: Considering the fact that certain regions in the Netherlands have a higher proportion of residents that are likely to make more use of physical therapy, such as people in a specific age group, it’s relevant to examine the relation of physical therapy density in some areas with age brackets. Aim: The primary aim of this study is to obtain more knowledge about the possible differences between physical therapy density (supply) and patient demand in specific regions in the Netherlands due to age brackets. The secondary aim is to obtain more knowledge about the possible relationship between geographic position of physical therapy schools and physical therapy density. Methods: The current study has a retrospective longitudinal observational study design. Data has been collected for 2001,2003,2005,2007,2010 and 2012. Results: There is a significant relation between the percentage age bracket 45-65 and physical therapy density (p<0.05) as well as the percentage age bracket 4-25 years and physical therapy density (p<0,0001) over the years from 2001 up to and including 2012. Distance of physical therapy schools does not have a significant effect with regard to the physical therapy density over the years (P=0,363). Conclusion: Age has been shown to be a correlating factor for physical therapy density. This study does not show that settling behavior of physical therapists is related to the location of their education. Clinical Relevance: When future research is able to define a cut-off point in physical therapy density in relation to the age brackets with the highest demands of health care, yearly observations could offer insight in which regions more attention should be put into increasing the supply more fitting to the demand.