Strategies used by chronically ill older women and their caregiving daughters in managing posthospital care


Margaret J Bull, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing, 6–101 Health Sciences Unit F, 308 Harvard Street S E, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to learn how older women and their caregiving daughters managed care following the mother's hospitalization because of a chronic illness. Data were collected in semi-structured interviews with 33 mother-daughter pairs at two weeks post-discharge, and 32 pairs two months post-discharge. Content analysis and constant comparison were used in analysing the data. The findings indicate that the posthospital period for both mothers and daughters was characterized by difficulties in managing care that were often related to lack of information about diet, medications and community services. In dealing with the difficulties, most mothers and daughters employed information-seeking and problem-solving strategies to move from the phase, finding out what works, to establishing new routines. Not all mothers and daughters established routines by two months post-discharge. Nurses need to recognize factors that impede mothers and daughters in establishing routines in order to design effective interventions to ease the posthospital transition.