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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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What's going on after hospital? - Exploring the transition from hospital to home and patient experiences of nurse led follow-up phone calls

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore the transition from hospital to home and patient experiences of nurse-led postoperative follow-up phone calls after thoracic surgery.

BACKGROUND: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery protocol places new demands on patients after hospital. Need for a proactive approach to improve the postoperative follow-up process in the home is required.

DESIGN: Qualitative intervention study.

METHODS: Interviews were conducted with patients who had received a postoperative phone call after hospital discharge (n=15). The analysis was inspired by Gadamer and Meleis. COREQ guidelines were followed.

RESULTS: Two overall themes emerged: 1) The follow-up phone call, which concerns experiences involving the actual call and 2) Transitioning from hospital to home, which through four subthemes illuminates; how patients describe their initial time at home, that patients experience a changed body after surgery, that patients feel alone after returning home and that a call from a nurse can help patients not to feel left out and finally why it is absolutely essential that nurses initiate the phone call.

CONCLUSION: Patients are at different stages in their transition process after hospital, making timing of follow-up tricky. Being part of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery programme has implications for the initial period after discharge; dominated by fatigue, pain and experiences of a changed body. Patients experience being left alone with their illness, and the phone call helps to relieve this isolation. It is essential that the nurse call the patient since the patients want to avoid disturbing the staff.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Healthcare workers can use the findings to understand how patients experience the transition from hospital to home when enrolled in an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery programme. Need for support from a nurse following discharge is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume30
Issue number11-12
Pages (from-to)1694-1705
Number of pages12
ISSN0962-1067
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • follow-up, nurse clinic, patient experiences, phone call, qualitative study, transition, follow&#8208, up

ID: 62412823