Occupational therapy inpatient rehabilitation interventions with deconditioned older adults following an acute hospital admission: A Delphi study Academic Article uri icon


  • Older adults admitted to an acute hospital setting with an illness often experience deconditioning. Although occupational therapists frequently work with deconditioned older adults in inpatient rehabilitation programmes, limited information exists regarding the type of interventions used and how these interventions are provided. This study aimed to determine the level of consensus among Australian occupational therapists about occupational therapy service delivery and interventions commonly used during inpatient rehabilitation with older adults who have become deconditioned during acute hospital admission for a medical illness.The Delphi technique was used to reach consensus among expert occupational therapists regarding service delivery and interventions commonly used in an ideal clinical setting. Data were analysed from three rounds of surveys and the percentage of agreement between clinicians were calculated.Twenty-six participants completed round one survey, with 24 completing subsequent surveys (92% response rate). Fifteen commonly used interventions were identified, including showering/dressing, light meal preparation and home assessment. Consensus was reached on commonly used aspects of service delivery, including intervention provision, programme length, team members and follow up after discharge.Results generated may assist in guiding occupational therapists in the attributes of service delivery and the type of interventions currently considered best practice when working with deconditioned older adults in a rehabilitation setting. The information provides preliminary data for effectiveness studies.

publication date

  • 2015