A survey of assistive equipment use by older people following hospital discharge

Tammy Hoffmann*, Kryss McKenna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Occupational therapists prescribe assistive equipment to increase clients' independence in self-care activities. This study examined clients' use of assistive equipment post-discharge and explored the factors that might have influenced use. The participants were 127 clients (mean age 78.7 years, 62.2% men) who were issued one or more items of assistive equipment while inpatients at a metropolitan hospital. At approximately 10 weeks post-discharge, the participants completed a postal questionnaire. Of the 407 items of equipment prescribed, 363 (89.2%) were used, with three types of equipment (bathboards, hand-held shower hoses and stair rails) having 100% use. The participants who lived alone were more likely to use toileting equipment and shower chairs than the participants who did not live alone (p<0.05). The long-handled equipment had the lowest usage rates. For unused equipment, 16.5% was not used because it was no longer needed and 9.3% because the participants reported that they had never really needed it. Overall, 91.3% of the participants reported that they had received adequate training in the use of the equipment. Although most of the participants used prescribed assistive equipment, recommendations based on a client-centred approach to the prescription process are made to increase clients' use of equipment further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


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