Exploring how occupational therapists and physiotherapists evaluate rehabilitation potential of older people in acute care

Bradley, Gemma, Baker, Katherine and Bailey, Catherine (2021) Exploring how occupational therapists and physiotherapists evaluate rehabilitation potential of older people in acute care. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. ISSN 0308-0226 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/03080226211011386

Abstract

Introduction
Evaluations of rehabilitation potential are an everyday occurrence, yet the concept is poorly understood and there is a lack of understanding about the reasoning process. This study aimed to explore how occupational therapists and physiotherapists evaluated the rehabilitation potential of older people following an acute hospital admission.

Method
Focused ethnography was utilised, primarily using observation, interviewing and review of records within one acute medical ward in a general hospital in the United Kingdom. Five patient participants gave consent for their episode of care to be studied, for interactions with professionals to be observed and for their clinical records to be reviewed. Three occupational therapists and two physiotherapists then participated in individual interviews.

Findings
Thematic analysis of data led to the identification of a four-stage reasoning process. The four stages are as follows: gathering baseline information; provision of curative and supportive interventions; provision and monitoring of rehabilitative interventions; the evaluation of rehabilitation potential and decision about the subsequent pathway.

Conclusions
The reasoning process illustrates the professional reasoning of occupational therapists and physiotherapists when evaluating rehabilitation potential for older adults in acute care. However, it also highlights vulnerabilities to professional reasoning which may contribute to subjectivity, inconsistency or risk to patients.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rehabilitation potential, professional reasoning, older people, qualitative research, ethnography
Subjects: B700 Nursing
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 15:30
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 09:56
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45931

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