Deakin University

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Clinicians’ perceptions of decision making regarding discharge from public hospitals to in-patient rehabilitation following trauma

journal contribution
posted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by L A Kimmel, A E Holland, N Lannin, E R Edwards, Richard PageRichard Page, A Bucknill, R Hau, B J Gabbe
Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the perceptions of consultant surgeons, allied health clinicians and rehabilitation consultants regarding discharge destination decision making from the acute hospital following trauma.

Methods: A qualitative study was performed using individual in-depth interviews of clinicians in Victoria (Australia) between April 2013 and September 2014. Thematic analysis was used to derive important themes. Case studies provided quantitative information to enhance the information gained via interviews.

Results: Thirteen rehabilitation consultants, eight consultant surgeons and 13 allied health clinicians were interviewed. Key themes that emerged included the importance of financial considerations as drivers of decision making and the perceived lack of involvement of medical staff in decisions regarding discharge destination following trauma. Other themes included the lack of consistency of factors thought to be important drivers of discharge and the difficulty in acting on trauma patients’ requests in terms of discharge destination. Importantly, as the complexity of the patient increases in terms of acquired brain injury, the options for rehabilitation become scarcer.

Conclusions: The information gained in the present study highlights the large variation in discharge practises between and within clinical groups. Further consultation with stakeholders involved in the care of trauma patients, as well as government bodies involved in hospital funding, is needed to derive a more consistent approach to discharge destination decision making.



Australian health review






192 - 200


CSIRO Publishing


Clayton, Vic.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, AHHA