Care transitions from the hospital to home for patients with mobility impairments: patient and family caregiver experiences

Rehabil Nurs. 2012 Nov-Dec;37(6):277-85. doi: 10.1002/rnj.047. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


Purpose: Our study described patient and caregiver experiences with care transitions following hospital discharge to home for patients with mobility impairments receiving physical and occupational therapy.

Methods: The study was a qualitative longitudinal interview study. Interviews were conducted at 2 weeks, 1 month, and 2 months post discharge. Participants were men, Caucasian, between 70 and 88 years old, and had either a medical or surgical diagnosis.

Results: Breakdowns in communication in four domains impacted continuity of care and patient recovery: (a) Poor communication between patients and providers regarding ongoing care at home, (b) Whom to contact post discharge, (c) Provider response to phone calls following discharge, and (d) Provider-provider communication.

Discussion and conclusions: Improved systems are needed to address patient concerns after discharge from the hospital, specifically for patients with mobility impairments. Better communication between patients, hospital providers, and home care providers is needed to improve care coordination, facilitate recovery at home, and prevent potential adverse outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Rehabilitation Nursing / methods*