Study Confirms Home Recovery Is Better Than Hospital-Based Day Rehab Programs

At one point or another in our lives, we will grow old.   Perhaps some of us may suffer a stroke or heart-related illness that requires functional therapy.  At the moment, perhaps someone in your family needs such help.  Now, you might be weighing your options.  Would a day rehabilitation program at the hospital work well?  Or should you or your loved one choose home recovery -recuperate and regain functionality at home with a qualified allied health professional?

Well, hospital-based day rehabilitation programs and home therapy offer distinct approaches to rehabilitation, each with advantages.  And these programs serve as vital components of the healthcare continuum, catering to the diverse needs of patients on their path to recovery.

When Scientific Literature Proves a Point

According to a randomised controlled trial by Maria Crotty and her team, home rehab has a leg up. The study focused on 229 patients in southern Adelaide, Australia.

The merits of day hospitals in rehabilitation stem from their ability to accommodate large patient numbers and provide access to medical professionals.  In addition, they offer intensive therapy and facilitate social interaction.  The same randomised controlled study noted that participants allocated to day hospital care received more therapy sessions than their counterparts. However, did this additional care drive better results?

Although the home rehabilitation program offered fewer therapy sessions, it still resulted in comparable functional improvements. And it carried a reduced risk of readmission.  Maria Crotty and her team of researchers suggested that this may be due to increased access to medical staff for hospital-based day rehab patients.

And patients aren’t the only ones getting the better deal with home recovery. Typically, carers face a certain level of anxiety and depression as they navigate the realm of rehabilitation. Also, the same study found that all participants displayed significant improvements in functional outcomes. The day hospital-based carers reported higher Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) scores versus home rehab carers.

Therefore, it’s no wonder that the study recommends that health services prioritise providing patients with access to home rehabilitation ahead of day hospital programmes. 

What Is Home Recovery?

Recovering from surgery or coping with a chronic medical condition without leaving the comfort of your own home is a preference of many of our clients.  Home rehabilitation, under the supervision of allied health professionals, turns this vision into a reality.  The concept centres around bringing a specialised team of healthcare experts to your doorstep.

Why Is Home Recovery the Better Choice?

Your home is one of the most effective tools for rehabilitation.  Here are some crucial benefits:

  • Familiar Environment: Being in a familiar setting can reduce anxiety and stress.  This is common during recovery. Patients feel more comfortable and secure in their homes, promoting a positive mindset crucial for healing. As everything happens in a familiar and comfortable environment, the study found that fewer patients required hospital readmittance.
  • Independence and Confidence:  Home recovery allows individuals to regain their independence gradually. They can perform daily activities and tasks in their own space, which boosts self-confidence and motivation.
  • Personalised Care: Home-based rehab programs can be tailored to an individual’s needs and goals. Therapists and caregivers can design a program that aligns with the patient’s daily routines and lifestyle.
  • Family and Social Support: Patients often receive emotional and social support from family members and friends in their home environment. This support system is vital for motivation and morale during the rehabilitation process.  Furthermore, it reduces the level of stress among carers.
  • Continuity of Care: Transitioning from a hospital to home recovery can help maintain continuity in care.  Healthcare professionals can monitor progress more closely and make adjustments as needed.
  • Reduced Risk of Infection: Hospitals can be breeding grounds for infections, which can be especially risky for individuals with compromised immune systems.  Home-based care reduces exposure to healthcare-associated infections.
  • Cost-Effective: More often than not, home-based rehab is more cost-effective than prolonged hospital stays or facility-based care.  It can also reduce the burden on healthcare systems.
  • Long-Term Sustainability: Home recovery can be integrated into a long-term strategy for maintaining and improving health.  Patients continue their exercises and routines independently once they have regained mobility and functionality.
  • Convenience: Home-based rehabilitation eliminates the need for commuting to a healthcare facility.  Transportation can be challenging for patients with limited mobility.  This convenience leads to more consistent participation in rehabilitation activities.
  • Individualised Progress Tracking: Therapists can closely monitor a patient’s progress in their home environment.  Hence, they can make real-time adjustments to the rehabilitation plan.  This allows for a more agile and effective approach to recovery.

Home Recovery: A More Holistic Approach

Home rehabilitation involves a collaborative effort among various individuals to ensure the comprehensive well-being and recovery of the patient.  At its core is the patient, the central figure actively participating in their healing journey. They work closely with a team of healthcare professionals that includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and physicians.

In addition to healthcare experts, family members and caregivers play a vital role in the home rehab process.  They provide emotional support, assist with daily activities, and create a conducive environment for recovery. Together, this network of individuals forms a supportive ecosystem.  It contributes to the patient’s holistic rehabilitation and improves their chances of achieving their recovery goals within the comfort of their own home.

One notable advantage of home therapy is the potential for improved patient compliance and motivation due to the familiar surroundings.  Patients work on their rehabilitation within the context of their daily lives. Eventually, this leads to greater integration of therapeutic activities into their routines.  However, it’s essential to consider that home therapy may have limitations in terms of equipment and resources compared to hospital-based programs.  Additionally, it may lack the social support and community aspect of day rehabilitation programs.


In conclusion, both hospital-based day rehabilitation programs and home therapy have their merits.  The choice between these two options should be based on the individual’s medical condition, personal preferences, and access to resources.  Ultimately, the goal of both approaches remains consistent.  It is to facilitate the recovery and improved quality of life for patients as they navigate their rehabilitation journey.

At Lifeweavers, we’re all about improving your quality of life.  Let us work alongside you and your loved ones. With personalised care plans and senior clinicians at your beck and call, we’ll help you regain the tools and confidence to live well.  Drop us a message today.

We are open to direct referral to our therapy services and are happy to discuss your cases.