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Rural Health Professionals' Satisfaction with a Rehabilitation Mobile Outreach Program
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Objective: To assess the extent to which rural physicians and allied health professionals are satisfied with consultation services provided by an interdisciplinary rehabilitation outreach team.

Design: Descriptive survey.

Setting: A rehabilitation outreach team that travels to 14 rural communities in eastern and northern Ontario, Canada.

Subjects: Thirty-six rural physicians (response rate, 53.7%) and 62 allied health professionals (response rate, 92.5%) involved in the care of patients referred to the program.

Main Outcome Measure: Consumer satisfaction questionnaire.

Results: Most respondents (94.7%) indicated that they were satisfied with the interdisciplinary consultation, with comparable rates of satisfaction reported by physicians and allied health professionals. The highest satisfaction ratings were given to items addressing the clarity of recommendations provided by team members and the quality of the team's interaction with patients. The lowest ratings were associated with the waiting time between visits. Of all the individual disciplines on the team, physiatry was rated as most important for rural consultations. However, in open-ended comments, respondents indicated that the interdisciplinary aspect of the service was its most valued characteristic, whereas infrequent visits were the greatest drawback.

Conclusion: The interdisciplinary outreach approach to rehabilitation consultation receives high satisfaction ratings from rural health professionals who refer patients to the outreach team, which supports this model as a way to enhance rehabilitation services in rural communities. (Authors)
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