A quality improvement project targeting physical, cognitive and social activity levels in inpatient rehabilitation

Rosemarie Marsiglio, Dina Watterson, Valentina Maric, Anne E. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background/aims People undergoing inpatient rehabilitation largely spend their day by the bedside, inactive and alone. Increasing patients' physical, cognitive and social activity levels may improve rehabilitation outcomes for both the individual and the service. The aim of this study was to trial an activity programME that aimed to increase inpatient physical, cognitive and social activity levels, provided within existing resources whilE maintaining or increasing patient satisfaction. Methods A mixed-methods approach was used to develop and evaluate a multi-component activity programme for patients undergoing inpatient rehabilitation. Results Patient activity across the unit did not change but the amount of time spent alone during a weekday was significantly reduced. Patient satisfaction levels remained high. Each new therapy group was well received by patients and the volunteers who supported implementation. Novel programmes included table tennis coaching and independent gym access for selected inpatients, which were well used and not resource intensive. Therapist prescription of independent practice programmes remained low. Broader initiatives such as patient education folders require revision and further investment to succeed. conclusions It is possible to change and evaluate multiple therapy services concurrently. The absence of change in overall activity levels demonstrates a need to establish the most successful components, harness support from the organisation to address some of the physical/environmental barriers and expand smaller programmes, and invest more time to consolidate the whole-of-service changes required to push the rehabilitation service in the direction of greater patient activity and ownership. Clinicians should pursue, implement, evaluate and revise novel programmes to engage their patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity levels
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Quality improvement
  • Service Improvement

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