Who should have a pre-discharge home assessment visit after a stroke? A qualitative study of occupational therapists’ views
Introduction: The number of patients who have a pre-discharge home assessment visit following a stroke has been reported to vary nationally. The purpose of this research was to explore the factors influencing occupational therapists’ decisions to complete such visits. Method: Semi-structured interviews were completed with 20 senior occupational therapists working with stroke in-patients, from a range of urban and rural locations in the United Kingdom. The interviews explored their views about those patients for whom a pre-discharge home assessment visit would and would not be required. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: Three themes were identified: the patient’s level of physical, cognitive, or perceptual impairment and its impact on performance in activities of daily living; factors relating to the patient’s home environment, including the availability of support within the home environment; and other influences on occupational therapists. The presence of a cognitive impairment was a particularly important factor. Conclusions: Occupational therapists balanced aspects from each of these themes in order to determine whether a visit was needed or not. Although the level of impairment was important, the most dependent patients were not necessarily those believed to be the most likely to need a visit.