Geriatric versus general medical wards: comparison of patients' behaviours following discharge from an acute care hospital

Authors

  • Marilyn F. Jackson RN MEd

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor, University of Victoria, School of Nursing, Victoria, British Colombia, Canada
      Marilyn F. Jackson, Associate Professor, University of Victoria, School of Nursing. P.O. Box 1700, Victoria. British Colombia, Canada V8W 2Y2.
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Marilyn F. Jackson, Associate Professor, University of Victoria, School of Nursing. P.O. Box 1700, Victoria. British Colombia, Canada V8W 2Y2.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to explore, from a nursing perspective, the effectiveness of geriatric wards in preparing elderly patients for discharge from an acute care hospital. A convenience sample of 40 patients aged 70 years or older was obtained from three geriatric medical wards and two general medical wards of a large British teaching hospital. Data were collected immediately prior to discharge, and after 6 and 13 weeks following discharge. No meaningful differences were found between the two patient-groups in their ability to cope with activities of daily living following discharge. The majority of deaths and/or hospital readmissions occurred within 6 weeks of discharge. A major concern identified in both groups was patients’ lack of knowledge about medications and their side-effects. A need for more effective teaching programmes for elderly patients was identified.

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