A prospective multicentre study of barriers to discharge from inpatient rehabilitation

Peter W New, Damien John Jolley, Peter Cameron, John Olver, Johannes Uiltje Stoelwinder

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Objectives: To assess the prevalence of and reasons for barriers to discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, to measure the resulting additional days in hospital, and to determine if these were predicted by key demographic or clinical variables. Design, setting and participants: Prospective open cohort study of 360 patients admitted into two inpatient rehabilitation units in Melbourne over an 8-month and a 10-month period in 2008. Main outcome measures: Occurrence of discharge barriers, their causes and the duration of unnecessary hospitalisation. Results: There were 360 patients in the study sample, 186 were female (51.7 ), and mean age was 58.4 years. Fifty-nine (16.4 ) patients had a discharge barrier. The most frequent causes of discharge barriers were patients being nonweight bearing after lower limb fracture, family deliberations about discharge planning, waiting for home modifications and waiting for accommodation. Patients with acquired brain damage and lower limb fracture were the impairment groups most likely to experience a discharge barrier. Over the study period, 21.0 (3152/14976) of all bed-days were occupied by patients deemed to have a discharge barrier. Regression analysis showed that age, sex, impairment group and dependency level on admission all influenced the occurrence of a discharge barrier. Although regression analysis showed that dependency on admission and age group were significant predictors of additional days in hospital resulting from discharge barriers (P = 0.006), these variables explained only 11 of the additional bed-days. Conclusion: Barriers to discharge from inpatient rehabilitation are common and substantial, and they represent an important opportunity for improvement. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reaxys Database Information
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104 - 108
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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