An allied health assistant helps reduce difficulties faced by older people when returning home from hospital

Stephen ISBEL, Claire Pearce, Linda Kohlhagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Objectives: The first objective was to describe some health outcomes of a small cohort of elderly people in the Australian Capital as they returned home from an acute hospital admission. The second objective was to develop, implement and evaluate the effect of an Allied Health Assistant (AHA) in assisting older people after they return home from hospital. Design: The study was conducted in three phases. Phase one followed 17 elderly people as they returned home after an acute admission to hospital. Functional, participatory and quality of life measurements were administered. Phase two introduced the role of an AHA as a potential solution to the difficulties faced by elderly people. Phase three followed a new cohort of 14 elderly people and reapplied the measurements used in phase one to identify any notable effects of the AHA on their wellbeing. Setting: A large teaching hospital and in the homes of elderly people who were recently discharged from hospital. Main Outcome Measures: Centre for Allied Health Excellence (CAHE) patient post questionnaires (patient, carer, community agency and general practitioner). Results: The first cohort experienced similar difficulties in the immediate post-discharge period consistent with the literature. The inclusion of an AHA effectively assisted in meeting some of the needs of older people as they moved from an acute care episode into their homes. Conclusion: The use of an AHA is a potentially useful workforce strategy in meeting some of the needs of elderly people as they move from an acute care hospital episode back home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Health Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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