The Acute Medical Unit : narratives of older people and their informal carers about the hospital stay and resettlement experience

Darby, J 2015, The Acute Medical Unit : narratives of older people and their informal carers about the hospital stay and resettlement experience , DProf thesis, University of Salford.

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Introduction: Many older people presenting to Acute Medical Units (AMUs) are discharged home after only a short length of stay, yet research has found that many re-present to hospital within a year. This constructivist study explored patient and informal carer views of care and treatment received on an AMU whilst participating in a trial of a specialist geriatric intervention. Method: Eighteen older patients and six of their informal carers were purposefully selected from the above trial. These participants were interviewed in their homes up to six weeks following discharge. An interview guide was used to encourage participants to provide both narratives and their opinions and views around the AMU stay, and the resettlement period back home. The data were analysed using two analytic approaches: thematic and narrative analysis. Results: The analysis revealed five major themes. These revolved around participants making positive comments about the AMU staff, whilst also revealing an underlying subtle message that things could be better. The participants were similarly positive about the geriatricians, but were unable to articulate what had been done for them. On discharge, the patients had both outstanding health and daily living needs, which were not resolved by the admission. These needs impacted on their informal carers, who supported them with their daily living activities. Overall these participants were stoical and had low expectations of hospital care. Conclusion: The study has provided an in-depth understanding of the older patient and informal carer experience of an AMU stay. The recommendations made revolve around meeting patient’s basic physiological needs, improving staff communication with both patients and their informal carers, and improving the on-going care management of these patients post discharge, including further medical review and rehabilitation.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Funders: Independent research funded by NIHR
Depositing User: J Darby
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2015 14:54
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 13:40

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