Hekmatpou D, Mohammadi E, Ahmadi F, Arefi SH. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 389–396
Termination of professional responsibility: Exploring the process of discharging patients with heart failure from hospitals
Despite the emphasized importance of the discharge process for patients with heart failure, this process is not taken as seriously as it should be. The objective of this qualitative study is to explore the concept of discharge and its associated factors in 42 experienced patients, family members, nurses and cardiologists at two educational hospitals in Tehran, Iran. The content analysis of the data indicates that the participants consider hospital discharge as the termination of professional responsibility on the part of physicians and nurses as far as health-care support is involved. Three themes were identified as factors related to the treating team, health-care system and patients and their families. Adverse outcomes of inappropriate discharge planning which manifested as incompliance with ‘diet and medical regimen’ and lack of lifestyle modification were also noted. It seems proper to try and change the attitude of physicians and nurses towards the concept of discharge, and raise their sensitivity to organizing and executing discharge plans. It is also recommended that postdischarge care should be established.