Sinead Cobbe, Kathy Nugent, Shirley Real, Sinead Slattery, Margaret Lynch

International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 1, 25 Jan 2013, pp 39 - 45

Aim: To profile a specialised palliative care physiotherapy service to community-dwelling patients. Design: Retrospective audit. Setting: Milford Care Centre, Limerick, Ireland. Participants: Patients referred to hospice-at-home physiotherapy during September 2010-February 2011. Outcome measure: Edmonton Functional Assessment Tool (EFAT-2). Results: 165 patients were referred, of whom 90% had cancer. Nurses referred 120 (73%). Referrals appeared to be increased by the presence of physiotherapists in the nursing bases. No asssessment was conducted for 55 referrals (33%), mainly owing to clinical deterioration. The remaining 110 patients were assessed, with 47 (43%) being contacted within 2 days of referral (mean 4 days, standard deviation 4.2, range 0-21 days). Physical function ranged from 0-18 (median 7, mode 4) on the EFAT-2 scale. The most commonly used treatments were exercises and advice/education. Conclusion: Referrals to the at-home physiotherapy service are heavily dependent on nurses and their understanding of the physiotherapy role. Patients tended to be relatively high functioning and tolerated numerous interventions.

Why purchase a paper only subscription?

  • Read high quality peer-reviewed articles such as this and many more covering all aspects of pallitative care in a way which is clear, easy-to-read and useful to your daily practice.
  • IJPN contains the best clinical reviews, original research and evidence-based articles available to palliative care nurses to ensure that you are kept fully up to date with the latest developments taking place in palliative nursing practice.
  • Get IJPN delivered regularly to your door, subscribe online now and receive an exclusive discount on your subscription!
  • Subscribe to IJPN

Alternatively, download this article now!

The full-text of this article is available to download at is the UKs largest archive of nursing articles containing over 14,500 articles dating back to 1996 from 13 prestigious and peer-reviewed journals published by MA Healthcare, including International Journal of Palliative Nursing, British Journal of Community Nursing, British Journal of Nursing, Journal of Wound Care and Practice Nursing. For a full list of journals contained on, please visit