"Returning to the core tasks": a qualitative interview study about how general practitioners in home health care solved problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wachtler C, Bergqvist M, Holmgren K, Mannheimer S, Bastholm-Rahmner P, Schmidt-Mende K

Scand J Prim Health Care - (-) 1-10 [2023-12-14; online 2023-12-14]

Optimizing care at home, or home health care (HHC), is necessary as the population of care-dependent older people receiving care at home steadily increases. The COVID-19 pandemic tested Swedish primary care professionals as they provided HHC for a population of very frail older homebound people, but a better understanding of what healthcare workers did to manage the crisis may be useful for the further development of HHC. In this study, we aimed to understand how HHC physicians solved the problems of providing home healthcare during the pandemic to learn lessons on how to improve future HHC. This is a qualitative study of individual interviews with 11 primary care physicians working in HHC (8 women) from 7 primary care practices in Region Stockholm, Sweden. Interviews were conducted between 1 December 2020, and 11 March 2021. The data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. We generated an overarching theme in our analysis: Physicians focus on core tasks and professional values in response to crisis. This theme incorporated three underlying subthemes describing this response: physicians prioritize and resolve ethically challenging situations in new ways, cultivate the patient perspective, and build on existing teams. This study indicates that a healthcare system that gives HHC physicians agency to focus on core tasks and professional values could promote person-centered care.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38095568

DOI 10.1080/02813432.2023.2291676

Crossref 10.1080/02813432.2023.2291676

Publications 9.5.0