Patients' experience of occupational therapy discharge preparation
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Discharge planning is intended to assist hospitalized patients returning home. Occupational therapists play an important role in interdisciplinary discharge planning by assisting with the identification of potential barriers to discharge and discussing possible strategies with clients, such as recommending equipment and/or additional support and offering other interventions that can facilitate return to home. A deeper understanding of patients’ perspectives of discharge preparations can be used to inform effective occupational therapy discharge interventions. Using interpretive description, the experiences of 6 patients recently seen by an occupational therapist in preparation for discharge from acute care settings were explored in qualitative interviews. Results indicate that occupational therapy discharge preparation was perceived as valuable and client-centred by most participants. It was noted that past health care experiences, patient’s pre-existing personal values, beliefs and expectations of the health care system and families’ concerns all impacted the occupational therapy discharge process.