AIM: The majority of post-acute hip fracture rehabilitation in the US is delivered in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Currently, there are limited guidelines that equip occupational and physical therapy practitioners with a summary of what constitutes evidence-based high quality rehabilitation. Thus, this study aimed to identify rehabilitation practitioners' perspectives on the practices that constitute high quality hip fracture rehabilitation.
METHODS: Focus groups were conducted with 99 occupational and physical therapy practitioners working in SNFs in southern California. Purposive sampling of facilities was conducted to capture variation in key characteristics known to impact care delivery for this patient population (e.g., financial resources, staffing, and patient case-mix). Questions aimed to elicit practitioners' perspectives on high quality hip fracture rehabilitation practices. Each session was audio-recorded and transcribed. Data were systematically analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach.
RESULTS: Seven themes emerged: objectives of care; first 72 h; positioning, pain, and precautions; use of standardized assessments; episode of care practices; facilitating insight into progress; and interdisciplinary collaboration.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinical guidelines are critical tools to facilitate clinical decision-making and achieve desired patient outcomes. The findings of this study highlight the practitioners' perspective on what constitutes high quality hip fracture rehabilitation. This work provides critical information to advance the development of stakeholder-driven rehabilitation clinical guidelines. Future research is needed to verify the findings from other stakeholders (e.g., patients), ensure the alignment of our findings with current evidence, and develop measures for evaluating their delivery and relationship to desired outcomes. Implications for Rehabilitation This study highlights occupational and physiotherapy therapy practitioners' perspectives on the cumulative best practices that reflect high quality care, which should be delivered during hip fracture rehabilitation. While this study was limited to two professions within the broader interdisciplinary team, consistently occupational and physiotherapy therapy practitioners situated their role and practices within the team, emphasizing that high quality care was driven by collaboration among all members of the team as well as the patient and caregivers. Future research needs to evaluate the (a) frequency at which these practices are delivered and the relationship to patient-centered outcomes, and (b) perspectives of rehabilitation practitioners working in other PAC settings, patients, caregivers, as well as the other members of the interdisciplinary PAC team.