Effects of a multidisciplinary, post-discharge continuance of care intervention on quality of life, discharge satisfaction, and hospital length of stay: a randomized controlled trial

David Preen, B.E.S. Bailey, A. Wright, P. Kendall, M. Phillips, Joe Hung, R. Hendriks, A. Mather, E. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To determine the impact of a hospital-coordinated discharge care plan, involving a multidisciplinary team of primary health care providers, on hospital length of stay, quality of life, and both patient and general practitioner inclusion in, and satisfaction with, discharge procedures.Design. This investigation comprised a prospective, randomized, controlled, clinical trial.Setting. This multicentre and cross-jurisdictional study focused on areas of tertiary and primary health care as well as community allied health in Western Australia.Participants. Patients (n = 189) with chronic cardiorespiratory diagnoses were recruited from respiratory, cardiovascular, and general medical wards at two tertiary hospitals.Intervention. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Intervention group patients received a discharge care plan in accordance with that outlined in the Australian Enhanced Primary Care Package, completed before discharge and sent to the patient's general practitioner and other community service providers for review. Control patients were discharged under existing hospital processes.Outcome measures. Patients and general practitioners were surveyed pre-discharge and 7 days post-discharge for quality of life and opinion of discharge procedures. Hospital length of stay was also determined.Results. Significant improvements in discharge planning involvement, health service access, confidence with discharge procedures, and opinion of discharge based on previous experience were seen for patients who received the discharge care plan. Further, improved perceptions of mental quality of life were observed within the first week post-discharge for intervention patients. Length of stay showed no difference between groups. Extent and speed of hospital-general practitioner communication were significantly improved via the intervention.Conclusions. Our results indicate that a multidisciplinary discharge care plan, initiated before separation, improves quality of life, involvement, and satisfaction with discharge care, and hospital-general practitioner integration. As such, it possesses benefits over current Western Australian hospital discharge procedures for the care of chronically ill populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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