Medical patients' experiences of inreach occupational therapy: continuity between hospital and home

Brown, Sarah; Craddock, Deborah; Greenyer, Corinne Hutt
July 2012
British Journal of Occupational Therapy;Jul2012, Vol. 75 Issue 7, p330
Academic Journal
Introduction: Reforms in the National Health Service have encouraged a whole system approach. However, coordinated care may be difficult at the interface between acute hospital and community services. Inreach services are community based and the same member of staff provides intervention in hospital and after discharge. This qualitative study aimed to understand medical patients' experiences of inreach occupational therapy. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of seven older people, following their discharge from a medical inreach occupational therapy service. Thematic analysis was used to explore findings. Findings: Uncertainty was expressed about the role of occupational therapy and about participants not feeling involved in their hospital discharge. There was an appreciation that inreach occupational therapy could aid continuity of care. Some participants considered regular contact with a known health professional to be reassuring on return home, whereas for other participants the principle of accurate information sharing between staff was particularly important at discharge. Conclusion: All participants valued a seamless service between occupational therapy in hospital and at home. The importance of services working across organisational boundaries is emphasised, tailoring the timing of interventions to meet individuals' needs.


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