Patients' and caregivers' perceptions of occupational therapy and adapting to discharge home from an inpatient palliative care setting

Celia Marston, Meera Agar, Ted Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Introduction: There is limited research into the role of occupational therapy in discharge planning in palliative care. This study aimed to explore patients' and caregivers' perceptions of occupational therapy in the context of discharge home from an inpatient palliative care setting. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients and caregivers following discharge home from inpatient palliative care. Participants were selected using purposive sampling and data was thematically analysed. Results: Five caregivers and three patients were interviewed. Three main themes emerged: (1) shared roles in discharge planning; (2) perceived benefits of occupational therapy; and (3) adapting to discharge home. Patients and caregivers viewed occupational therapy as the practical help needed to achieve discharge. They had difficulty differentiating between professional roles and perceived the discharge process as a shared responsibility between themselves and the clinicians. Adapting to discharge home involved coping with the uncertain and unexpected, where limited understanding of professional roles meant participants did not know who to seek assistance from. Conclusion: Occupational therapy was viewed as the practical help needed for discharge home from a palliative care setting. Clinicians need to take primary responsibility for understanding each other's roles and providing information on who can assist after discharge.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)688-696
    Number of pages9
    JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
    Volume78
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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