Not feeling ready to go home: a qualitative analysis of chronically ill patients' perceptions on care transitions

Kim J Verhaegh, Patricia Jepma, Suzanne E Geerlings, Sophia E de Rooij, Bianca M Buurman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
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    Quality problem:

    Unplanned hospital readmissions frequently occur and have profound implications for patients. This study explores chronically ill patients' experiences and perceptions of being discharged to home and then acutely readmitted to the hospital to identify the potential impact on future care transition interventions.

    Initial assessment and implementation:

    Twenty-three semistructured interviews were conducted with chronically ill patients who had an unplanned 30-day hospital readmission at a university teaching hospital in the Netherlands.

    Choice of solution:

    A constructive grounded theory approach was used for data analysis.


    The core category identified was 'readiness for hospital discharge,' and the categories related to the core category are 'experiencing acute care settings' and 'outlook on the recovery period after hospital discharge.' Patients' readiness for hospital discharge was influenced by the organization of hospital care, patients' involvement in decision-making and preparation for discharge. The experienced difficulties during care transitions might have influenced patients' ability to cope with challenges of recovery and dependency on others.

    Lessons learned:

    The results demonstrated the importance of assessing patients' readiness for hospital discharge. Health care professionals are recommended to recognize patients and guide them through transitions of care. In addition, employing specifically designated strategies that encourage patient-centered communication and shared decision-making can be vital in improving care transitions and reduce hospital readmissions. We suggest that health care professionals pay attention to the role and capacity of informal caregivers during care transitions and the recovery period after hospital discharge to prevent possible postdischarge problems.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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