What is the experience of being readmitted to hospital for people 65 years and over? A review of the literature

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Journal Article
Contemporary Nurse, 2017, 53 (6), pp. 698 - 712
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© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Aim: To explore the experience of readmissions to hospital from the perspective of older adults. Methods: A systematic review with an interpretative approach was conducted. CINAHL, Embase, and Medline were consulted in October 2016. Results: Six studies with data collection between 2004 and 2013 fit the relevant criteria and included a total of 68 older adults. Two overarching themes were developed with relevant subthemes: Experience during initial hospital stay distinguished by exclusion (Feeling powerless; Feeling disregarded; Perception of readiness for discharge); Patients experience uncertainty following discharge (Perception that community-based services are not available or adequate; Perception that hospital is the only safe place; Difficulty in adapting to a “new normal”). Conclusions: A cycle of exclusion exists during the initial hospital stay and beyond. The experience of being readmitted to hospital is challenging, mostly perceived as negative, and, existential, emotional and psychological well-being is not satisfactorily addressed by healthcare professionals.
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