Supporting occupational therapy home visit decision-making

Ms Maureen Godfrey1, Dr Tammy Aplin2

1The Prince Charles Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane, Australia, 2School of Health and Rehabilitaiton Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia

Occupational therapy pre-discharge home visits are frequently conducted in many hospital contexts to support safe discharge planning and community re-integration. With the current healthcare context requiring efficiency with length of hospital stay and value-based interventions, and providing a changing landscape of post-discharge services, recent research indicates that the decision to conduct these resource intensive visits for specific patients is complex.  While the decision is centred on patient need, it is mediated by a range of factors.  It can be a decision that less experienced clinicians need more support in making. To meet this need, a working group of occupational therapists from facilities across a metropolitan health service was formed and developed a decision-making support tool for pre-discharge home visits. Subsequently, the occupational therapy workforce received education concerning the background and use of the tool and it has been trialled at six hospital and rehabilitation settings in Brisbane. The impact of the tool on occupational therapists’ confidence in clinical decision-making, their accuracy in decision-making, along with their ability to communicate their decision to patients and the multidisciplinary team on whether a pre-discharge home visit is required will be presented. Factors of clinical utility including time taken to complete the tool and its ease of use will also be discussed.


Maureen has over 35 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist, working both in Australia and the United Kingdom. This covers a diverse range of clinical settings from acute hospitals, specialized units, and community-based teams. Her areas of interest focus on restorative and rehabilitation services and the elderly. She places value on meeting the individual needs of clients through targeted service provision. Presently, she balances a clinical role in the Rehabilitation Day Therapy Unit, at The Prince Charles Hospital, with the Team Leader role of Occupational Therapy for Geriatric and Rehabilitation Services.

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