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Early supported discharge for older adults admitted to hospital with medical complaints: A qualitative study exploring the views of stakeholders

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-23, 14:10 authored by Susan WilliamsSusan Williams, Cliona O'RiordanCliona O'Riordan, Fiona Steed, Aoife LeahyAoife Leahy, Elaine Shanahan, Catherine Peters, MARGARET O'CONNOR, Rose GalvinRose Galvin, Ann-Marie MorrisseyAnn-Marie Morrissey

Introduction: Early supported discharge (ESD) is well established as a model of health service delivery for people with stroke. Emerging evidence indicates that ESD also reduces the length of stay for older medical inpatients. There is a dearth of evidence exploring the views of stakeholders on ESD as a model of care for older medical inpatients. The overall aim of this study is to explore the views and perceptions of older adults, family carers and healthcare professionals on the potential role of ESD for older adults admitted to hospital with medical complaints.

Methods: Purposeful sampling was used to recruit older adults and family carers for interview. For Healthcare Professionals (HCPs), snowball purposeful sampling was used. Phone interviews took place following a semi-structured interview guide. Focus groups were moderated by A-MM. Braun and Clarke’s approach to thematic analysis was used. Ethical approval was granted by the HSE Mid?Western Area Regional Ethics Committee in November 2021 (REC Ref. 096/2021).

Results: Fifteen HCPs took part across three focus groups, with six older adults and two family members participating in one-to-one interviews. Three themes were identified: 1. Pre-ESD experiences of providing and receiving older adult inpatient care, 2. Navigating discharge procedures from acute hospital services, 3. A vision for more integrated model of care and a medical ESD team.

Discussion: This study provided insight into the current discharge experiences of older adult care in the acute setting, the potential role for ESD in this population and the key factors that would need to be considered for the running of an ESD service for older adults admitted to hospital with medical complaints.

Conclusion: This research highlights the barriers and facilitators to ESD for older medical inpatients from the perspectives of key stakeholders. Given the adverse outcomes associated with prolonged hospital stay, these findings will help inform the development of a feasibility trial, examining patient and process outcomes for older adults admitted to hospital with medical complaints who receive an ESD intervention.



Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 2022, 15, pp. 2861-2870


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