Are people in residential care entitled to receive rehabilitation services following hip fracture? Views of the public from a citizens' jury.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC geriatrics, 2020, 20, (1)
Issue Date:
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BACKGROUND:Access to rehabilitation services for people living in residential care facilities is frequently limited. A randomised trial of a hospital outreach hip fracture rehabilitation program in residential care facilities has demonstrated improvements in mobility at four weeks and quality of life at 12 months but was not considered cost-effective by standard health economic metrics. The current study aimed to explore the general public's views on issues involved in the allocation of rehabilitation resources for residents of care facilities. METHODS:A citizens' jury comprising 13 purposively sampled members of the general public, representative of the South Australian age, gender and household income profile. The jury considered the questions "Should there be an investment of physical rehabilitation services in residential care for older people following a hip fracture? If so, what is the best way of providing this service (considering funding, models of service delivery and equity)?" Deliberations were in the context of a state-wide health reform program. The jury was conducted over two days with an experienced independent facilitator, addressing questions developed by a steering group of research academics and clinicians. RESULTS:The mean age of the citizens' jury members was 43 (range 26 to 61). Eleven members voted for investment in outreach hospital rehabilitation services in residential aged care. All jurors agreed a number of strategies in addition to investment should be implemented, including health care planning and decision making, increased emphasis on hip fracture prevention, training of aged care staff in rehabilitation and routine provision of hospital discharge summaries to families. The jury further advocated for an increased focus on rehabilitation in residential care, potentially through accreditation criteria, increasing health literacy of residents and families, implementation of age friendly environment strategies and improving connections of care facilities with community, hospital and tertiary services. CONCLUSIONS:This citizens' jury representative of the general public recommends that regardless of dementia and frailty, people who live in residential care and are walking and fracture their hips should have access to hospital outreach rehabilitation and recovery services.
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