Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences

Cover image for Vol. 30 Issue 1

Edited By: Päivi Åstedt-Kurki and Marja Kaunonen

Impact Factor: 1.197

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 35/109 (Nursing (Social Science))

Online ISSN: 1471-6712

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FREE Editor's Choice paper - March 2016

On the threshold: older people's concerns about needs after discharge from hospital
Felicia Gabrielsson-Järhult and Per Nilsen

With this study the authors aim to explore older people’s concerns about their needs after discharge from hospital. The experience of discharge is challenging for older people because it often requires transition from an independent life to a life where they need care and support. Discharge planning is a process where the patient’s needs have to be identified and plans made on how to meet the needs. This can imply discharge to home or to another healthcare facility such as nursing homes. It can be challenging for the older patient as they have to adjust to a dependent life with both formal and informal care givers. This may threaten their independence, autonomy and integrity. The study has a qualitative design. The authors have conducted twenty-seven observations with hospital discharge planning meetings. The data were analyzed by content analysis and this analysis revealed an overarching theme: being in a life transition. This positions older persons as vulnerable and in an ambiguous situation in the discharge process. Three categories emerged: obtaining a secure life situation, needing continuous care and support, and influencing the situation to regain independence. The authors discuss the fact that older patients themselves want to influence their care after discharge. The older patients strive to be independent and participate in how to regain a secure life situation through the care given. The care should be planned to meet their individual needs after discharge. This study is an important contribution to caring science as it shows the importance of healthcare personnel knowing about older people’s concerns when planning individualized care after discharge from hospital.

Åshild Slettebø, Editor in Chief, SJCS

Lennart Fredriksson, Associate Editor, SJCS

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