Background/aim: Predischarge home assessment visits are a commonly accepted, but little researched, aspect of occupational therapy practice. The aim of this research was to systematically investigate current predischarge occupational therapy home assessment visit practices in a rehabilitation ward of a regional Australian hospital. Methods: A retrospective chart audit was conducted over a 7-month time period and included 227 patients discharged from the inpatient rehabilitation ward at the study hospital. Results: Fifty-five per cent of patients in the study sample received home assessment visits. At least one recommendation for change was made as a result of the visit for 99% of those patients receiving visits. A total of 139 visits were completed and resulted in 1179 recommendations for change. The median number of recommendations made for the home assessment visits was 10 (range 0–33). The most common types of recommendations, timing of visits, persons present during the visit and documentation of visits were also investigated. Conclusion: Although occupational therapy home assessment visits are routinely completed, there is limited research available to provide evidence-based guidelines relating to predischarge occupational therapy home assessment visit practices. Recommendations for future practice and areas for further research into occupational therapy home assessment visits are discussed.
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal Vol. 55, Issue 2, p. 85-95