Original Research

A profile of patients attending the physiotherapy department at the Alexandra Health Centre and University Clinic

Paulo Ferrinho, Huib Cornielje, S. G. Reinach
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 48, No 4 | a732 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v48i4.732 | © 2018 Paulo Ferrinho, Huib Cornielje, S. G. Reinach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2018 | Published: 30 November 1992

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Paulo Ferrinho,
Huib Cornielje,
S. G. Reinach,

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During 1989 the Alexandra Health Centre and University Clinic (AHC) experimented with a health information system to determine a profile of the patients presenting at the AHC physiotherapy department.
Data were analysed for 1408 patients. The age distribution was 2% (n=33): 0-4 years of age, 5% (n-74): 5-14 years, 85% (n-1186): 15-59 years and 8% (n=108): over 60 years (no data on 1%, n=7).31% (n=439) had neck and back problems, 30% (n-419) had problems related to the arms, 22% (n-303) had lower limb problems, 13% (n=185) had hand problems, 4% (n=56) had problems associated with burns, 3% (n=48) had chest related problems, 1% (n=8) had osteoarthrosis, 0% (n=2) had rheumatoid arthritis and 2% (n=33) had other unspecified problems. 94% (n=1323) had 1 diagnosis and 6% (n=85) had multiple diagnosis. 12% (n=172) were patients with chronic problems and 86% (n=1213) had acute problems (no data in 2%, n=23). Of the 786 cases with data 1% (n=10) were referred to hospital, 96% (n=754) were not referred anywhere and 3% (n=22) were referred elsewhere. Referrals were more common for bums and osteoarthrosis (p-0,00).
The low rate of referral is a credit to the ability to cope with the work at local level.


physiotherapy; community based rehabilitation; health information system


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