Implementation of Questionnaire-Based Risk Profiling for Clients in a Workers’ Compensation Environment: An Example in Australian Physiotherapy Practice

  • Darren BealesEmail author
  • Luke McManus
  • Jay-Shian Tan
  • Craig Elliott
  • Tim Mitchell


Purpose This study investigated the implementation of a risk profiling process for physiotherapy clients with a compensable musculoskeletal problem. Implementation targeted personal (clinician) and external (organisational) factors to facilitate behavioural change with regard to the use of formal, questionnaire-based risk profiling. Methods A theoretical construct was developed for formal questionnaire-based screening to be implemented across 12 private, metropolitan physiotherapy clinics. To target personal (clinician) factors, a multimodal educational procedure was developed focused on use of the ten-item Orebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire (OMPSQ-10). To target external (organisational) factors, an administrative process was enacted to ensure routine completion of the OMPSQ-10 by compensable clients. Global practice behaviour with regard to the use of formal risk profiling was complete pre- and post-implementation. Results Pre-implementation physiotherapists understood the potential usefulness of formal risk profiling, but the large majority did not routinely have clients complete these types of questionnaires. Post-implementation there was a significant positive shift in behaviour to more frequent use the OMPSQ-10 for new compensable clients. Conclusions The results provide initial support for the use of a framework to develop an implementation strategy to increase physiotherapist adherence to the use of guideline recommended risk profiling questionnaires in clinical practice.


Screening questionnaires Physiotherapy Musculoskeletal pain 



The authors would like to thank Cameron Tweedy, State Manager LifeCare Western Australia, for his support of this project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

At the time this implementation project took place, Darren Beales, Luke McManus and Craig Elliott were contacted physiotherapists for LifeCare Physiotherapy. LifeCare clinics were used as the implementation sites for this study. LifeCare had no input into the preparation of this manuscript. Jay-Shian Tan and Tim Mitchell had no potential conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physiotherapy and Exercise ScienceCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Life Ready Physio and Pilates South PerthSouth PerthAustralia
  3. 3.Flex PhysiotherapyMurdochAustralia
  4. 4.LifeCareWembleyAustralia

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