Pneumonia care and the nursing home: a qualitative descriptive study of resident and family member perspectives
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BACKGROUND: Nursing home residents are frequently sent to hospital for diagnostic tests or to receive acute health care services. These transfers are both costly and for some, associated with increased risks. Although improved technology allows long-term care facilities to deliver more complex health care on site, if this is to become a trend then residents and family members must see the value of such care. This qualitative study examined resident and family member perspectives on in situ care for pneumonia. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study design was used. Participants were residents and family members of residents treated for pneumonia drawn from a larger randomized controlled trial of a clinical pathway to manage nursing home-acquired pneumonia on-site. A total of 14 in-depth interviews were conducted. Interview data were analyzed using the editing style, described by Miller and Crabtree, to identify key themes. RESULTS: Both residents and family members preferred that pneumonia be treated in the nursing home, where possible. They both felt that caring and attention are key aspects of care which are more easily accessible in the nursing home setting. However, residents felt that staff or doctors should make the decision whether to hospitalize them, whereas family members wanted to be consulted or involved in the decision-making process. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that interventions to reduce hospitalization of nursing home residents with pneumonia are consistent with resident and family member preferences.
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