Patient satisfaction and early geriatric follow-up after discharge in older acute medical patients

Merete Gregersen, Anita Haahr, Lene Holst Pedersen, Else Marie Damsgaard


Objective: “Early geriatric follow-up after discharge” is a care model designed to create a safe transition from hospital to home by adding a follow-up visit in the patient’s home within 24 hours after discharge. Patient satisfaction is of major importance to evaluate health care services. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare patient satisfaction after early geriatric follow-up with that of usual follow-up after discharge.
Materials and methods: The study is a cross-sectorial quantitative questionnaire survey. The target population was 75+ years’ medical patients acutely admitted to an emergency department (ED) and enrolled in a quasi-randomized controlled trial. A 14-item satisfaction questionnaire, based on semi-structured interviews, was mailed to all cognitively well-functioning patients in both groups 2-4 weeks after discharge during three defined time periods. The themes of importance were: feeling safe, receiving sufficient information, experiencing good communication between health care professionals, involvement in care decisions, and relatives’ involvement. Each question was evaluated by a 5-point Likert scale. The patients, who did not respond within 14 days, were reminded by phone and offered assistance to fill out the questionnaire.
Results: In total, 173 out of 272 patients (64%) returned their questionnaire. Baseline characteristics of the groups were similar. More patients in the intervention group (receiving early geriatric follow-up after discharge) were “satisfied with treatment and care after discharge” and were “satisfied with the continuity of care at home” compared to the patients in the control group (receiving usual follow-up). More women were non-responders than men.
Conclusions: Older medical patients acutely admitted to hospital were more satisfied with early geriatric follow-up than usual follow-up after discharge.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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