International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-9096

+44 1300 500008


Referrals to a Regional Rehabilitation Clinic in South Western New South Wales, Australia

Yuriko Watanabe

An outreach fly-in fly-out rehabilitation medicine service has been established at a regional centre in south western, New South Wales, Australia to support local practitioners. This service includes an outpatient clinic, and an inpatients case conference and consultations. This study examined new referrals to the regional rehabilitation clinic over a 12 month period. There were 94 new patients with the median age of 57.5 years. The main reason for referral was noncancer pain assessment and management (60 patients, 63.8%); followed by post hospital discharge follow up (26 patients, 27.7%). The majority of patients with pain were already on opioid therapy at the time of initial consultation. 18 patients were found to be on a high dose of opioids (>100 mg/day of oral morphine or equivalent) with no recent pain specialist input. Risks of opioid related problems were assessed and identified in those patients with a high dose of opioid therapy. Reasons and barriers influencing opioid therapy for non-cancer chronic pain in the regional area are discussed. Further study is required to establish specialist rehabilitation medicine needs from local general practitioners perspective in regional areas.