Implementation of an advanced occupational therapy assistant-led groups programme in aged care rehabilitation

Cox, Ruth J, Mills, Vickie J., Fleming, Jennifer and Nalder, Emily (2014) Implementation of an advanced occupational therapy assistant-led groups programme in aged care rehabilitation. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61 3: 187-193. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12105


Author Cox, Ruth J
Mills, Vickie J.
Fleming, Jennifer
Nalder, Emily
Title Implementation of an advanced occupational therapy assistant-led groups programme in aged care rehabilitation
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-1630
0045-0766
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12105
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 61
Issue 3
Start page 187
End page 193
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background/aim
The use of support workers such as occupational therapy assistants is emerging as a strategy to enhance the health workforce, but there has been little evaluation of the feasibility of expanding support worker roles and responsibilities. This study aimed to implement an advanced occupational therapy assistant-led groups programme in a subacute aged care rehabilitation setting and to evaluate the impact on the clinical outcomes of group participants.

Method
A prospective quasi-experimental cohort study was conducted comparing outcomes of 30 patients receiving a groups programme led by an advanced occupational therapy assistant with a historical control group of 40 patients receiving the groups programme led by an occupational therapist. The groups programme comprised up to six groups per week and included meal preparation groups and domestic training groups. Outcomes were Functional Independence Measure scores, Australian Therapy Outcome Measures, discharge destination, length of stay and patient satisfaction.

Results
Discharge outcomes of patients participating in the assistant-led groups programme were not significantly different to patients who participated in the therapist-led groups programme. Patient satisfaction levels were not significantly different between groups.

Conclusion
The introduction of an advanced occupational therapy assistant to replace an occupational therapist in facilitating a groups programme in aged care rehabilitation did not result in a decline in patient outcomes. However, the results should be interpreted tentatively given the study limitations and the advanced skills of the assistant involved. Further more rigorous longer term research with a larger sample is required.
Keyword Rehabilitation services
Workforce
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 19 DEC 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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