A Survey of Assistive Equipment Use by Older People following Hospital Discharge

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Occupational therapists prescribe assistive equipment to increase clients' independence in self-care activities. This study examined clients' use of assistive equipment post-discharge and explored the factors that might have influenced use. The participants were 127 clients (mean age 78.7 years, 62.2% men) who were issued one or more items of assistive equipment while inpatients at a metropolitan hospital. At approximately 10 weeks post-discharge, the participants completed a postal questionnaire.

Of the 407 items of equipment prescribed, 363 (89.2%) were used, with three types of equipment (bathboards, hand-held shower hoses and stair rails) having 100% use. The participants who lived alone were more likely to use toileting equipment and shower chairs than the participants who did not live alone (p<0.05). The long-handled equipment had the lowest usage rates. For unused equipment, 16.5% was not used because it was no longer needed and 9.3% because the participants reported that they had never really needed it. Overall, 91.3% of the participants reported that they had received adequate training in the use of the equipment.

Although most of the participants used prescribed assistive equipment, recommendations based on a client-centred approach to the prescription process are made to increase clients' use of equipment further.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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