The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of clinicians about walking requirements and discharge criteria for patients being discharged home in the community from rehabilitation after hip fracture. Twelve experienced clinicians (all females) (mean experience in rehabilitation 13 years) were interviewed using an in-depth semi-structured format. The recorded interviews were transcribed and coded independently by two researchers. From these codes themes were developed. For discharge planning, all clinicians considered personal/psychosocial factors such as patient goals and social support. Almost all clinicians considered that the performance factor of safe and independent ambulation was important to consider when planning the patient’s discharge, but did not set specific distances or speeds. Clinicians expected that pain, a lack of confidence, and walking outdoors would affect the mobility at home but these factors were considered little in discharge planning.
In planning discharge after rehabilitation for hip fracture, clinicians place more emphasis on the individual needs and goals of the patient than on specifying objective performance criteria that must be met. The expectation that lack of confidence could be a problem after returning home suggests that this factor could be considered more in discharge planning.
Taylor NF, Harding KE, Dowling J, Harrison G. Discharge planning for patients receiving rehabilitation after hip fracture: a qualitative analysis of physiotherapists’ perceptions. Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(6):492-9