Unpacking Healthcare Professionals’ Work to Achieve Coherence in the Healthcare Journey of Elderly Patients: An Interview Study
Received 28 December 2020
Accepted for publication 11 February 2021
Published 4 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 567—575
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser
Marianne Kumlin,1– 3 Geir Vegar Berg,2,4 Kari Kvigne,1 Ragnhild Hellesø3
1Department of Health and Nursing Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences Elverum, Elverum, Norway; 2Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway; 3Department of Nursing Science, Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; 4Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Gjøvik, Norway
Correspondence: Marianne Kumlin Tel +47 91594685
Email [email protected]
Aim: Today, seamless, person-centered healthcare is emphasized when dealing with elderly patients with comprehensive needs. Studies have uncovered a complex healthcare terrain. Despite a great deal of effort on the part of policy makers and healthcare providers, the work healthcare professionals undertake to develop seamless healthcare is still unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to uncover the work that healthcare professionals undertake to achieve coherent and comprehensive healthcare for elderly patients with multiple health problems during their journey through the complex healthcare terrain.
Methods: This study has an explorative design with individual interviews. Twenty-five healthcare professionals from primary and specialist care agreed to participate. A thematic analysis method was employed.
Results: The analyses revealed three central themes in the healthcare professionals’ work to build coherence in the patients’ care trajectory: Working to manage a patient’s illness trajectory during the course of the patient’s life, working to achieve a comprehensive overall picture, and considering multiple options in a “patchwork” terrain.
Conclusion: Healthcare professionals have a common understanding that hospital stays are a short part of the elderly person’s journey in the healthcare system. In the comprehensive work to obtain the overall picture of the illness trajectory within the patient’s life story, healthcare professionals emphasized the importance of working in an interdisciplinary manner. Interprofessional consulting and collaboration should be strengthened to build coherence in the older patient’s complex care trajectory.
Keywords: older, care trajectory, complex healthcare, health personnel, interdisciplinary
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]