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Survey of current pre-discharge home visiting practices of occupational therapists

Survey of current pre-discharge home visiting practices of occupational therapists

Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 58(3): 172-177

Discharge planning frequently involves occupational therapy pre-discharge home visiting as one component of intervention. Pre-discharge home visits aim to maximise a person's functional performance within the context of their home and community environment, bridging the transition between hospital and home. The aim of this study was to describe the pre-discharge home visiting practices of occupational therapy departments. This descriptive study used a postal survey which was sent to occupational therapists in 215 public and privately funded hospitals in New South Wales, Australia. The survey enquired about the number of pre-discharge home visits completed per month, who went on visits and time spent on visits. Descriptive statistics were used in analyses. Surveys were returned by occupational therapists from 53 departments, representing a response rate of 25%. Respondents estimated that they conducted approximately 13 pre-discharge home visits per month (range: 1-60). Visits were estimated to take an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes (excluding travel time). Approximately one-quarter of respondents felt that there was pressure to reduce the number of pre-discharge home visits conducted. Using their local hospital records, nine hospital departments estimated that the number of home visits completed per month had reduced by 50% compared with the number of home visits five years previously. Findings suggest a wide variation in current pre-discharge home visiting practice. There is a need for well-designed clinical trials that investigate the effectiveness of these costly and time-consuming visits on functional performance.

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Accession: 056041046

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21599682

DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2010.00911.x

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