Date Presented 04/22/2023

This quantitative exploratory study explored how OT leaders and managers perceive OT’s role in fostering effective care transitions, what leadership qualities improve team effectiveness to ensure optimal care transitions, how leaders promote best practice to achieve optimal outcomes, and what barriers leaders and managers experience in ensuring quality care transitions within their practice setting.

Primary Author and Speaker: Frank G. Czuba

Additional Authors and Speakers: Margaret Cram, Dustin Hogan, Amanda Ryan

Contributing Authors: Nancy Richman, Kayla Campbell

PURPOSE: Research has shown that early OT intervention during a patient’s hospital stay is connected to better client outcomes for care transitions (Roberts et al., 2020). Barriers to quality care transitions result in negative health outcomes, hospital recidivism, and increased healthcare costs. OT interventions are not always recognized by other professions. The purpose of this research is to identify OT leaders and managers’ role in eliciting quality care transitions through their use of best practices and specific leadership qualities.

DESIGN & METHOD: This quantitative, exploratory study surveyed 27 OT leaders and managers using demographic, 8 likert-rating and 5 open ended questions. Results were analyzed through inferential statistics.

RESULTS: Participants identified ‘addressing functional ability and cognition’ and ‘client/care partner competency in safely completing transfers and ADLs’ as the most effective OT strategies for quality transitions. Effective communication and approachability were identified as the most important leadership qualities. Facilitators such as transition planning day 1, interprofessional collaboration, and communication; and barriers such as poor communication, ineffective team relationships, insurance barriers, and limited time were identified.

CONCLUSION: This study identified several OT interventions that add value to the quality of care transitions to community living, improve patient health outcomes, and lower overall healthcare costs. It also identified key barriers to effective care transitions, some that were not found in the literature review.

STATEMENT: While OT interventions are consistently linked to quality care transitions, there’s limited research on how OT leaders perceive and elicit OTs roles in coordinating quality care transitions to enhance best practice for better outcomes. Understanding the current strengths and barriers will promote an evidence based approach to the profession of Occupational Therapy’s efforts in coordinating quality care transitions.


Campagna, V., Nelson, S. A., & Krsnak, J. (2019). Improving care transitions to drive patient outcomes: The triple aim meets the four pillars. Professional Case Management, 24(6), 297–305.

Hitch, D., Lhuede, K., Giles, S., Low, R., Cranwell, K., & Stefaniak, R. (2020). Perceptions of leadership styles in occupational therapy practice. Leadership in Health Services, 33(3), 295–306.

Roberts, P., Robinson, M., Furniss, J., & Metzler, C. (2020). Occupational therapy’s value in provision of quality care to prevent readmissions. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74.

Werner, N. E., Tong, M., Borkenhagen, A., & Holden, R. J. (2018). Performance-shaping factors affecting older adults’ hospital-to-home transition success: A systems approach. The Gerontologist, 59(2), 303–314.