Occupational Therapy in Complex Patients: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Martina Pellegrini, Debora Formisano, Veronica Bucciarelli, Margherita Schiavi, Stefania Fugazzaro, Stefania Costi

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Introduction. To determine effect size and feasibility of experimental occupational therapy (OT) intervention in addition to standard care in a population of complex patients undergoing rehabilitation in a hospital-home-based setting. Method. 40 complex patients admitted to the rehabilitation ward of the Local Health Authority-Research Institute of Reggio Emilia (Italy) were randomized in a parallel-group, open-label controlled trial. Experimental OT targeting occupational needs in the areas of self-care, productivity, and leisure was delivered by occupational therapists. Standard care consisted of task-oriented rehabilitation delivered by a multiprofessional team. Results. The experimental OT intervention was completed by 75% of patients assigned to this group. The average changes in the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) performance score significantly and clinically favored experimental OT [-3,06 (-4.50; -1.61); delta>2 points, resp.]. Similar trends were detected for COPM satisfaction and independence in instrumental activities of daily living (ADL). At follow-up, level of social participation was higher for patients treated with experimental OT (p=0.043) than for controls. Conclusions. Experimental OT was feasible in complex patients in a hospital-home-based setting. It ameliorated both patients' performance and satisfaction in carrying out relevant activities and improved independence in instrumental ADL. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02677766.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3081094
JournalOccupational Therapy International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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