Fulton, S.1, Dunk, P.1 & Stiller, K2.

1 Rehabilitation in the Home, CALHN, SA Health, 2 Allied Health Research Coordinator, CALHN, SA Health


Background and aims: Home-based rehabilitation services are increasingly offered as an alternative to traditional inpatient rehabilitation. There appears to be little research evaluating the effectiveness of home-based rehabilitation services on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This study investigates if HRQOL improved over the period of time rehabilitation in the home (RITH) services were provided.

Methods: A prospective observational study was undertaken whereby HRQOL was completed by participants, using the EQ-5D-5L, at the start and completion of RITH services. The service was provided to 121 patients with neurological, orthopaedic or reconditioning/restorative diagnoses for a median (IQR) of 17 (14-21) days.

Results: All five domains of the EQ-5D-5L significantly decreased and the index value significantly increased over the course of the RITH program (p ≤ 0.002), indicative of an improvement in HRQOL. The EQ-VAS score significantly increased over time (p = 0.000), reflecting an improvement in self-rated health. No clear participant characteristics influencing HRQOL were identified.

Conclusions: Despite the relatively short amount of time receiving RITH services, HRQOL significantly improved from start to completion of RITH. This may reflect natural recovery and/or the effect of the RITH interventions. HRQOL measures, such as the EQ-5D-5L, may be useful for evaluating the effect of RITH and other home-based rehabilitation services.

Shelley Fulton

Shelley is a Senior Occupational Therapist with the CALHN Rehabilitation in the Home (RITH) and Day Rehabilitation Service (DRS). Prior to working within CALHN, Shelley worked across community rehabilitation settings in Victoria, New South Wales and the United Kingdom. Shelley’s clinical areas of interest include rehabilitation with neurological and amputee clients, within community settings. Shelley is passionate about clinician-led research.

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