Introduction: Australian occupational therapists working on mental health inpatient wards are often requested to assess a person’s function and, based on that assessment, recommend the best support environments for that person post-discharge. The Allen Cognitive Level Screen (ACLS) is a tool used by some therapists to screen cognitive functioning as a basis with which to make support recommendations. There is limited examination of the outcomes for people post-discharge if the ACLS score-based support recommendations are followed. Method: A retrospective cohort design involved quantitative analysis of archival data for 150 adult (18–65 years old) consumers with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and an ACLS completed pre-discharge. Data up to 12 months post-discharge from hospital were studied. Outcomes examined included re-presentations or readmission to hospital, length of time in community prior to re-presentation and length of stay in hospital if readmitted. Results: Being younger, male, receiving formal supports, having a drug and alcohol disorder comorbidity, living in public housing and having a lower cognitive level as measured by the ACLS were significant univariate factors associated with higher hospital utilisation for one or more of the outcome variables. Multivariate analyses revealed fewer significant relationships, with being younger and receiving formal supports significantly associated with greater likelihood of return to hospital. Conclusion: This research contributes to evidence of the complexity of living with schizophrenia in the community and supporting people to stay out of hospital. More research regarding how the ACLS score-aligned support recommendations are carried out and the impact on hospital utilisation is needed in order to enhance occupational therapists confidence in their use and prescription.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 Occupational Therapy Australia
- Allen Cognitive Level Screen
- occupational therapists
- substance use disorders