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The impact of a Reablement Service Programme on physical ability and care plan packages

Authors:

Paul Slater ,

Ulster University, GB
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Felicity Hasson,

Ulster University, GB
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Robert Brown

Western Health and Soical Care Trust, GB
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Abstract

Context and Background: Reablement is a short and intensive service, usually delivered in the home, which is offered to people with disabilities and those who are frail or recovering from an illness or injury.  Research into the impact of Reablement reports significant improvements in the functional ability and emotional wellbeing of client, significantly reduced care needs on discharge and significant financial savings through freeing up acute hospital beds and promoting home living.  The aim of the study is to examine the impact of Reablement on physical independence, care plans and care packages post discharge from the Reablement programme.

Research Methodology: A retrospective cohort design was used to examine patient records who had completed a Reablement programme.  Quantitative measures of the functional ability of the participants were collected pre-and post-intervention and an examination on care packages on exit from the programme.  Measured on an internationally renowned and psychometrically strong tool (Functional Independence Measure, Chumney et al., 2010), completed by trained health care professionals, were examined pre-and post-intervention with a consecutive sample (n=416) of participants since the introduction of the Reablement programme over a 15-month period.  The data was extracted to SPSS version 22. Total scores were generated for the overall instrument and inferential statistics and repeated measures were calculated to examine differences in scoring across time points and demographics.  Ethical approval was sought and gained.

Key Findings: Participants reported significant improvements in functional independence, irrespective of age or gender.  Almost two thirds of participants reported either reduced care packages or no services on discharge.  Reablement had a significant impact on physical independence living scores and a corresponding reduction in care needs and care plans post discharge.   Functional ability at commencement was a significant predictor of leaving with no care plan.

Conclusion: The increase in physical ability and corresponding reduction in care needs and care plans post discharge indicates a significant improvement in functional ability, a reduction in associated care plan costs and a better standard of living.

Lessons learned: The study’s findings presentempirical evidence on the value of Reablement programme developed to promote independent living.  Whilst no examination on financial data was recorded in this study, the increase in physical ability and corresponding reduction in care needs and care plans post discharge indicates a reduction in costs and a better standard of living.

Limitations: This study contributes to a growing body of evidence on the effectiveness of Reablement however previous research suggests that small scale evaluations of Reablement schemes may be overly positive (McLeod and Mair, 2009), therefore this study’s findings should be read with caution.

Suggestions for Future Research: Reablement is a relatively new concept and therefore requires clarification of terms and inclusion criteria to allow comparability between studies and generalisability of the findings to a wider context.  Furthermore, research on the predictors of effective Reablement outcomes may influence inclusion criteria and would help focus further targeted interventions.

How to Cite: Slater P, Hasson F, Brown R. The impact of a Reablement Service Programme on physical ability and care plan packages. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):136. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.s3136
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Published on 08 Aug 2019.

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