Caring for people with serious injuries in urban and regional communities: a qualitative investigation of healthcare providers’ perceptions

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Abstract

Purpose: To understand the factors that affect the management of people after serious injury in urban and regional settings, beyond hospital discharge from the perspectives of allied health professionals (AHPs). Materials and methods: An exploratory qualitative study of AHPs caring for people with serious injuries post-hospital discharge in urban and regional areas of Victoria, Australia was completed. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were undertaken with AHPs and thematically analysed. Results: Allied health professionals in urban and regional settings reported the benefits of a multi-disciplinary team to deliver high-quality care. However, a number of barriers to service delivery were identified that impacted on their ability to meet the needs of patients. These included insufficient psychological services, a shortage of available carers and an unmet need for external clinical support in regional areas. Communication between AHPs and other services, and care co-ordination of post-discharge services, was also highlighted as key areas to improve for optimal patient care. Conclusions: Factors that influenced optimal patient management included the availability of psychological and carer services, communication between health professionals and coordination of post-discharge care. The experiences of AHPs can offer practical suggestions to optimise service delivery and post-discharge care for people with serious injuries.Implications for Rehabilitation Allied health professionals (AHPs) face a number of challenges in the provision of optimal care to people with serious injuries. Improving the availability of psychological support and attendant carers is needed in regional areas. A designated care coordinator role may assist people with serious injuries transitioning between hospital and home to engage with necessary services and reduce administrative burden for AHPs. Telehealth may provide facilitate improved communication between health professionals and support regional clinicians caring for people with complex injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • allied health professionals
  • Geography
  • injury
  • interview
  • patient outcomes
  • trauma

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