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J Clin Nurs. 2018 Jan;27(1-2):317-327. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13906. Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Family involvement in timely detection of changes in health of nursing homes residents: A qualitative exploratory study.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Studies, School of Dementia Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK.
2
Division of Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.
3
School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, Musselburgh, UK.
4
Alzheimer's Society, Research Network Volunteer, UK.
5
Bradford Teaching Hospital, Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation Care, Temple Bank House Bradford Royal Infirmary Duckworth Lane, Bradford West Yorkshire, UK.
6
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To explore family perspectives on their involvement in the timely detection of changes in their relatives' health in UK nursing homes.

BACKGROUND:

Increasingly, policy attention is being paid to the need to reduce hospitalisations for conditions that, if detected and treated in time, could be managed in the community. We know that family continue to be involved in the care of their family members once they have moved into a nursing home. Little is known, however, about family involvement in the timely detection of changes in health in nursing home residents.

DESIGN:

Qualitative exploratory study with thematic analysis.

METHODS:

A purposive sampling strategy was applied. Fourteen semi-structured one-to-one interviews with family members of people living in 13 different UK nursing homes. Data were collected from November 2015-March 2016.

RESULTS:

Families were involved in the timely detection of changes in health in three key ways: noticing signs of changes in health, informing care staff about what they noticed and educating care staff about their family members' changes in health. Families suggested they could be supported to detect timely changes in health by developing effective working practices with care staff.

CONCLUSION:

Families can provide a special contribution to the process of timely detection in nursing homes. Their involvement needs to be negotiated, better supported, as well as given more legitimacy and structure within the nursing home.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Families could provide much needed support to nursing home nurses, care assistants and managers in timely detection of changes in health. This may be achieved through communication about their preferred involvement on a case-by-case basis as well as providing appropriate support or services.

KEYWORDS:

acute care; aged care; chronic illness; elder care; family; hospital; nursing homes; older people; qualitative study

PMID:
28557103
PMCID:
PMC5767757
DOI:
10.1111/jocn.13906
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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