In the footstep of the old patient from hospital to home: A qualitative field observation study

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Background: Older people often have multiple health conditions and therefore extended care needs. The transition from the hospital back to their home requires careful planning. The fragmented healthcare system and rapid discharge from the hospital can result in limited involvement of the older patient in the discharge planning process. We aimed to explore how older hospitalised patients experienced the transition from hospital to home and how possibilities and constraints in interactions with relevant parties in the transition affected their everyday lives. Method: An ethnographic participant observation study including interviews was conducted with 10 older hospitalised patients. The theoretical perspective in the study is critical psychology and data were analysed using the condition-, meaning- and reasoning analysis. Results: Three themes were identified: (1) Lost in transition – the person's ability to act is limited, (2) In transition – the relatives become important, (3) At home – the home transforms into a workplace. Conclusion: Lack of involvement becomes a condition for older patients as some struggle to create meaning in their transition, affecting their everyday lives. The patients experienced their relatives as important as they ensured that the HCPs got to know their values and wishes. This knowledge is important for HCPs working closely with older people both at the hospital and at home ensuring active involvement of the older person with respect and acknowledgement of the older person's wishes, needs, resources and vulnerability.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


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