A therapy-relevant casemix classification system for school-age children with disabilities Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:To develop a clinically meaningful classification system of resource-homogeneous groups to describe therapy resource use for school-age children with disabilities. DESIGN:Work-time allocation survey of therapy services (physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists). SETTING:Three main disability agencies in Western Australia. CLIENTS: All children of two agencies, a random sample of children of the third. A total of 644 clients and their services were studied. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENT:Minutes of therapy service time expected over a 10-week school term. RESULTS:Forty-six percent of the variance in a measure of time spent with clients can be explained using a classification system of nine groups, based on splitting a mobility measure (4 major groups), then the nature of primary disorder (2 subgroups), independence in self care (3 subgroups), and expressive communication (3 subgroups). CONCLUSION:This study defines a preliminary classification system for the distribution of therapy resources to school-age children with disabilities. This model has the potential to be used to purchase services on a fairer basis than traditional, historical funding methods have allowed.

publication date

  • May 2000