Perceived effectiveness of allied health clinical supervision: a cross sectional survey

Mr Marcus Gardner1, Dr  Carol McKinstry2, Dr Byron Perrin2

1Bendigo Health; La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia, 2La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia




Whilst there is general support for the value of clinical supervision (CS) and it is widely utilised by allied health (AH) professionals there is limited research evidence, particularly related to rural and regional settings.  The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of CS for AH professionals at a regional health service from a supervisee’s perspective.  A secondary aim was to investigate any differences between AH disciplines in the effectiveness of supervision.



A quantitative cross-sectional survey was distributed to AH professionals at a regional Australian health service as a part of a participatory action research project.  Data collection was via the Manchester Clinical Supervision Scale (MCSS-26) and differences between disciplines were analysed with independent-samples t-test (t) and one-way between groups ANOVA.  One hundred and six participants responded to the survey (response rate 41%).



The total mean and standard deviation for MCSS-26 score across AH was 78.5 +/- 13.9, which is above the recommended threshold score for effective CS of 73.  There were statistically significant differences between total scores for occupational therapy (82.8 +/- 14.4) and physiotherapy (70.9 +/- 11.3) and in the domains relating to reflection, learning and support.


Significance of findings to allied health:

While CS was perceived to be effective, there were significant differences found between some disciplines.  The findings demonstrate that CS is effective when it is practised within a structured framework, however flexible models of CS across disciplines need to be explored.