As I study for my master's degree in occupational therapy, I'm working as a certified occupational therapy assistant in a skilled nursing facility, which has exposed me to the realities of functional decline as well as the effects of hospitalization on my clients. The Hospital Admission Risk Profile (HARP), a tool discussed in the How to Try This article of the same name (August 2008), is useful because it classifies patients into one of three categories of risk for functional decline: low, intermediate, or high. Having access to such a tool can benefit both nurses and occupational therapists, prompting them to take appropriate measures to decrease a patient's risk of decline, which will result, it's hoped, in fewer complications.
Jessica Stiles, COTA
Rochester, NY© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.