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Discharge planning home visits (DPHVs) are a routine part of occupational therapy clinical practice. However, there is a dearth of evidence to support or refute their…
Discharge planning home visits (DPHVs) are a routine part of occupational therapy clinical practice. However, there is a dearth of evidence to support or refute their efficacy and limited policies or standards to guide clinical practice. This study aims to investigate current clinical practice during home visits and the value that occupational therapists’ attribute to home visits within an Irish context.
Data collection was carried out by using a survey questionnaire (postal and electronic options). The study population comprised occupational therapists across 52 sites including acute, rehabilitation and convalescence settings within the Republic of Ireland. In total, 122 occupational therapists that completed the survey questionnaire were recruited for the study.
Quantitative data identified time spent per visit, departmental size, hospital size, number of visits and report writing times. Information was gathered regarding clinical areas assessed during visits in a Likert scale format. Qualitative data identified benefits, risks, recommendations to improve home visit practice and clinical criteria for home visits. Findings conclude that DPHVs are routinely carried out by occupational therapists and that there is consistency in clinical practice within an Irish setting. Occupational therapists value home visits as clinical assessments and have identified risks during practice, benefits of visits and ways to improve practice.
This study has provided a reflection of clinical practice in the Republic of Ireland. It is the only study of its kind in an Irish setting, and it could be used as a knowledge base regarding current practice on DPHV and occupational therapists’ clinical reasoning regarding home visits. The information gathered in this study could influence policies regarding DPHV and could serve as a comparison to standardise practice and justify the need for DPHV.