Evaluating a novel extended scope of occupational therapy service aimed at hospital avoidance in Tasmania, Australia, from the perspective of stakeholders
Van Dam, PJ and Reid, L and Elliott, S and Dwyer, M, Evaluating a novel extended scope of occupational therapy service aimed at hospital avoidance in Tasmania, Australia, from the perspective of stakeholders, Healthcare, 10, (5) pp. 1-12. ISSN 2227-9032 (2022) [Refereed Article]
The Australian state of Tasmania has seen a spike in Emergency Department presentations in recent years, particularly among the elderly. A novel extended scope occupational therapy (ESOT) service was implemented by the Tasmanian Health Service, aimed at supporting hospital avoidance. Clients were referred to the ESOT service by other services after being assessed as having a high risk of imminent hospital presentation. Occupational Therapists provided short-term interventions related to falls, mobility, nutrition, and initiated onward referrals to other services. A convergent parallel mixed methods design was used to evaluate the ESOT service. Quantitative data from routinely collected administrative records and a purpose-built survey of referring clinicians were used alongside qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with clients/carers, to enable the triangulation of data. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, while qualitative data collected in interviews were thematically analysed. A total of 104 extended scope interventions were provided to 100 clients. Most clients were able to stay at home. Qualitative data revealed that mobility, support, and facilitating access to support services were factors which added value to the client and carer experience. In conclusion, the ESOT program contributed to potentially avoiding hospital admissions and to improving the quality of life of participating clients.