4 years ago

Older people's experiences of nurse-patient telephone communication in the primary health care setting

Susan Waterworth, Deborah Raphael, John Parsons, Bruce Arroll, Merryn Gott
Aim To determine which aspects of primary nurse-patient telephone communication are viewed positively or negatively in terms of meeting the older persons’ needs. Background Health professionals are increasingly being called on to develop different ways of working and increase their capacity to meet the needs of an ageing population. In some countries telephone communication between primary nurses and patients in General Practice is already seen as a routine practice, but determining the value of this type of communication as a specific health service needs more understanding. Design A qualitative exploratory study as the aim was to explore the older person's experiences. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 older people from General Practices in New Zealand during 2014-2015. Thematic analysis was informed by a constructivist grounded theory approach. Findings The overarching theme was the difficulties older people face in making decisions about whether to contact a health professional by telephone and whether this should be the Primary nurse. Accounting for some of their symptoms as age related added to the uncertainty of decision making. Importantly some older people were not raising concerns e.g. emotional state. Conclusion Decision making by older people around treatment seeking is complex. Increasing the awareness of the nurse role in the General Practice is integral to creating a health system which will meet the needs of a growing older population. Primary care practices can review their systems to better inform older people how the nurse telephone role as a specific health service works and what they can expect when using this service. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jan.13449

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