• caretime;
  • health visiting;
  • nurse–patient relationships;
  • older patients

Scand J Caring Sci; 2011; 25; 646–652

Experiences of caretime during hospitalization in a medical ward: older patients’ perspective

The population is ageing the world over, and there is an increasing prevalence of chronic illness and complex conditions. Older people are at greater risk of having several complications than the general population, leading to more time spent in hospital and an increased risk of readmission. The most specific need of older patients is often the multiple need of care. The aim of this study was to describe older patients’ experiences of caretime during a hospitalization in a medical ward. Data were collected with semi-structured interviews with nine older patients, and analysed using qualitative thematic content analysis. The analysis resulted in two themes and five categories. The results show that caretime during hospitalization includes a lot of waiting and that patients manage the waiting in different ways. The results also point out the importance of patients developing good relationships with professionals since good relations creates feelings of security and can reduce anxiety and fear during a hospital stay. The patients pointed out the importance of being more involved in their own care and asked for more detailed information about the hospital stay. The results revealed that information makes patients’ more secure and safe during a hospitalization and makes them participate and affect their own care and treatment more.