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A description and evaluation of an innovative rural rehabilitation programme in South Eastern Australia

journal contribution
posted on 06.08.2018, 00:00 by B Dow, Kirsten MooreKirsten Moore, JM Dunbar, J Nankervis, Susan HuntSusan Hunt
Purpose. To describe and evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative model of rehabilitation designed to meet the needs of a sparsely populated rural area in South Eastern Australia. Method. Five rural health services collaborated to establish a rehabilitation programme. Evaluation included comparing length of stay (LOS) and improvement in the Modified Barthel Index (BI) with the Victorian State average for Level 2 (nonspecialist) rehabilitation. Surveys were conducted with staff, clients and carers in the programme. Results. An inpatient rehabilitation programme was successfully established through cooperation between five health services. Clients admitted to the programme improved functionally at least as well as the Victorian State average for similar client groups (BI change 26.5 compared with 22.3 points, p50.001), with a shorter LOS (13.8 compared with 22.3 days) but more were discharged to residential aged care (16.1% compared with 6%). Conclusions. The programme was successful in meeting its stated aims. The model described could be adopted in rural areas sharing similar characteristics. Key enablers to the success of the programme included: collaboration between hospitals; a skilled and enthusiastic leader; recruitment of allied health staff; consistent medical leadership; access to training and support from a major regional rehabilitation centre; and access to funding to enable the programme to establish itself and demonstrate outcomes for clients.

History

Volume

32

Issue

9

Start Page

781

End Page

789

Number of Pages

9

eISSN

1464-5165

ISSN

0963-8288

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

01/08/2009

External Author Affiliations

Preventive and Public Health Division, National Ageing Research Institute, Parkville, Australia, Colac Area Health, Colac, Australia, Department of Human Services, Public Health Branch, Melbourne, Australia, Healthy Ageing Research Unit, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Disability and Rehabilitation

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