Partnering with clinicians to illuminate the contribution of Rehabilitation Nursing to Multidisciplinary Care Teams

About the Project

Project aims and objectives:

The long-term aim of this project is to understand and develop collaborative interprofessional models of rehabilitation therapy and care.

The intermediate objective is to develop the foundations necessary for an interprofessional partnership that illuminates the role of nursing therapies
within sub-acute (i.e., public hospital) rehabilitation settings.

The immediate objective is to develop a nursing specific academic and clinical partnership to understand and explain the therapeutic role of nursing within current multidisciplinary approaches to rehabilitation therapy and care.

This work is based on an underpinning assumption that nurses contribute to rehabilitation outcomes of people with lifelong disability. Therefore, a related assumption is that better understanding of the rehabilitation role of nurses in interprofessional rehabilitation teams, will contribute to improved functional and quality of life outcomes for people with acquired disability.

Project Status:

Data analysis from the scoping review is complete. Drafted results have been reviewed by all members of the research team, with data analysis from qualitative interviews now commencing.

With the scoping review now finalised, the results paper will be completed and submitted for publication by June 2021.

Project partners:

Partnering in research with School of Nursing and Midwifery, MHIQ, Griffith University; Division of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health; and Neurorehabilitation Unit, Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast Health.

Project Significance:

Rehabilitation outcomes in in-patient public hospital settings are achieved by allied health therapy in combination with supportive 24/7 rehabilitation nursing activity. Nursing care is an integral component of in­patient rehabilitation, but is absent from nationally reported data (AIHW, 2018), thereby supporting claims that the nursing therapy role in multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams is invisible (Loft et al., 2017). Discipline specific approaches contribute to divisive rehabilitation care, with lower quality outcomes for patients (Pryor, 2008). Rather than focusing solely on multidisciplinary rehabilitation care, delivered in silos, collaborative interprofessional care is key to effective service responses for complex health conditions (D' Amour et al, 2005).

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