The Transition from Hospital to Home: Older People's Experiences
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOpen Journal of Nursing 5 (2015) S. 622-631 10.4236/ojn.2015.57066
The amount of older patients who are discharged from hospitals while continuing to need care is increasing in Norway. The transition between different care services has the potential for high rates of medication errors, incomplete or inaccurate information transfer, and lack of appropriate follow-up care. Thus, insight into the transition process is vital to understanding the complexity and vulnerability the patients are exposed to in this process. The aim of this phenomenological hermeneutic study was to describe and illuminate the lived experiences of older home residents during the transitions from hospital to home. Data were collected through narrative interviews, and an interpretation analysis based on a method developed by Lindseth and Norberg was conducted. Two themes and four subthemes, closely related to each other emerged from the structural analysis of the text: The theme “Relating to different systems of care” with the two subthemes “feeling disregarded” and “being humble”; and the theme “Adapting to life conditions” with the two subthemes “feeling vulnerable” and “coping with alterations”. The older people miss being seen as human beings as well as patients during the transition process. Despite the lack of information and participation in the transition process, they were grateful and humble to the systems of care they were a part of. This, however, also encompassed rejections of own needs. It is urgent that health care professionals focus on the older person’s individual needs and preferences. This means that care must be considered from the perspectives of the older person’s biographical as well as medical history, and the complexity of the situation.