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Family-assisted therapy empowered families of older people transitioning from hospital to the community: A qualitative study


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Lawler, K ORCID: 0000-0002-1484-1113, Taylor, NF and Shields, N 2019 , 'Family-assisted therapy empowered families of older people transitioning from hospital to the community: A qualitative study' , Journal of Physiotherapy , doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2019.05.009.

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Question: What is the experience of patients and families participating in a family-assisted therapy intervention to augment physiotherapy in Transition Care?Design: Qualitative study using an interpretive description framework.Participants: Thirteen patients and 18 family members of patients in a Transition Care Program, who had participated in a family-assisted therapy intervention.Intervention: A 4-week family-assisted therapy program to augment usual physiotherapy care. Families were trained and supported by a physiotherapist to assist with safe and simple activities tailored to the patient’s goals.Data collection and analysis: Semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Researchers independently coded transcripts line by line, and themes and subthemes were derived inductively. Qualitative results were triangulated with quantitative outcomes from a concurrent randomised controlled trial.Results: The unifying theme was that family-assisted therapy empowered families in a healthcare setting. There were four subthemes: families made a complementary contribution to rehabilitation; family-assisted therapy brought physical and psychosocial benefits; simplicity, boundaries, training and support were important elements of the family-assisted therapy program; and implementation of family-assisted therapy requires a supportive policy and environment. Findings largely converged with quantitative outcomes from the randomised controlled trial.Conclusion: Family-assisted therapy to augment usual physiotherapy care was a positive and empowering experience for patients and families in Transition Care. This study indicates that family-assisted therapy may increase opportunities for physical activity and, importantly, engage family in a meaningful activity that gives them a genuine role in the healthcare team.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lawler, K and Taylor, NF and Shields, N
Keywords: aged, caregivers, patient participation, physical therapy modalities, qualitative research
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Physiotherapy
Publisher: Elsevier Australia
ISSN: 1836-9553
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.jphys.2019.05.009
Copyright Information:

© 2019 Australian Physiotherapy Association. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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