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The reablement team’s voice: a qualitative study of how an integrated multidisciplinary team experiences participation in reablement

Authors Hjelle KM, Skutle O, Førland O, Alvsvåg H

Received 22 June 2016

Accepted for publication 8 September 2016

Published 2 November 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 575—585


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Kari Margrete Hjelle,1,2 Olbjørg Skutle,2,3 Oddvar Førland,2,4 Herdis Alvsvåg4

1Department of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Radiography, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen University College, Bergen, Norway; 2Centre for Care Research Western Norway, Bergen University College, Bergen, Norway; 3Department of Health and Social Educators, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen University College, Bergen, Norway; 4VID Specialized University, Bergen, Norway

Background: Reablement is an early and time-limited home-based rehabilitation intervention that emphasizes intensive, goal-oriented, and multidisciplinary assistance for people experiencing functional decline. Few empirical studies to date have examined the experiences of the integrated multidisciplinary teams involved in reablement. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to explore and describe how an integrated multidisciplinary team in Norway experienced participation in reablement.
Methods: An integrated multidisciplinary team consisting of health care professionals with a bachelor’s degree (including a physiotherapist, a social educator, occupational therapists, and nurses) and home-based care personnel without a bachelor’s degree (auxiliary nurses and nursing assistants) participated in focus group discussions. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the resulting data.
Results: Three main themes emerged from the participants’ experiences with participating in reablement, including “the older adult’s goals are crucial”, “a different way of thinking and acting – a shift in work culture”, and “a better framework for cooperation and application of professional expertise and judgment”. The integrated multidisciplinary team and the older adults collaborated and worked in the same direction to achieve the person’s valued goals. The team supported the older adults in performing activities themselves rather than completing tasks for them. To facilitate cooperation and application of professional expertise and judgment, common meeting times and meeting places for communication and supervision were necessary.
Conclusion: Structural factors that promote integrated multidisciplinary professional decisions include providing common meeting times and meeting places as well as sufficient time to apply professional knowledge when supervising and supporting older persons in everyday activities. These findings have implications for practice and suggest future directions for improving health care services. The shift in work culture from static to dynamic service is time consuming and requires politicians, community leaders, and health care systems to allocate the necessary time to support this approach to thinking and working.

Keywords: multidisciplinarity, rehabilitation, goal-setting, framework conditions, work culture, reablement

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