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The role of caregivers in interfacility care transitions: a qualitative study

Authors Jeffs L, Saragosa M, Law MP, Kuluski K, Espin S, Merkley J

Received 3 March 2017

Accepted for publication 1 May 2017

Published 21 August 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1443—1450


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Lianne Jeffs,1 Marianne Saragosa,1 Madelyn P Law,2 Kerry Kuluski,3 Sherry Espin,4 Jane Merkley5

1Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, 2Department of Health Science, Brock University, St Catharines, 3Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, 4Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University, 5Executive Offices, Sinai Health System, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract: A qualitative design was used to explore the nature of caregiver involvement in care transitions of patients being transferred from an acute care hospital to a rehabilitation hospital. Participants included older adults (n=13), informal caregivers (n=9), and health care professionals (n=50) from inpatient orthopedic units in two academic health science centers and one orthopedic inpatient rehabilitation unit. Semistructured interviews were conducted, audiotaped, and transcribed. Directed content analysis revealed the following four themes: watching, being an active care provider, advocating, and navigating the health care system. Participants described being actively involved in the care of their family member, yet they were not actively engaged by health care professionals to be involved in the care of their family member. There is a need to reconcile the tension between the level of involvement of caregivers in the care of family members who are patients and the level of engagement throughout the care transition. By providing relevant information and authentically engaging caregivers as equal partners in the care transition, they are better able to navigate the health care system post-transfer to the rehabilitation setting and discharge to home.

Keywords: caregiver, care transitions, elderly, qualitative

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