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“I Have Such a Great Care” – Geriatric Patients’ Experiences with a New Healthcare Model: A Qualitative Study

Authors Wilfling D, Warkentin N, Laag S, Goetz K

Received 7 December 2020

Accepted for publication 14 January 2021

Published 12 February 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 309—315


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Denise Wilfling,1 Nicole Warkentin,1 Sonja Laag,2 Katja Goetz1

1Institute of Family Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany; 2Barmer Health Insurance, Wuppertal, Germany

Correspondence: Denise Wilfling
Institute for Family Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, Lübeck, 23538, Germany

Purpose: Coordinated care is important for the health and well-being of geriatric patients. However, continuity of care is lacking in many countries. Several studies have shown that case management can help to meet these requirements in health care and investigated positive effects. The project RubiN (Regional ununterbrochen betreut im Netz; Continuous care in a regional network) was developed to provide regional care- and case management for outpatient care of the elderly (age > 70 years) in a primary care setting. The aim of this qualitative approach was to explore experiences and attitudes of geriatric patients towards the newly developed complex care- and case-management intervention RubiN.
Patients and Methods: Qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of geriatric patients enlisted in the RubiN intervention networks were conducted. The collected data was transcribed and evaluated using qualitative content analysis. A deductive-inductive approach was used in generating thematic categories.
Results: Forty-four telephone interviews were performed. Two key categories were identified to describe patients’ experiences regarding care delivered by a care- and case manager (CCM), namely “role of CCM” and “changes through RubiN”. Results demonstrated that care performed by CCMs is perceived positively by geriatric patients. A main finding of this study was that geriatric patients experienced a sense of security through the care provided by CCMs. CCMs were perceived as highly competent people, having all the necessary skills to provide continuity of care.
Conclusion: This study illustrates the importance of trust between care provider and care recipient. It also shows that geriatric patients appreciate the continuous, professional care and structural and functional support provided by qualified CCMs.

Keywords: geriatric patients, care management, qualitative study, support, coordination

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