Being an older hospitalized patient during the COVID-19 pandemic - A qualitative interview study.

Östlund A, Högnelid J, Olsson A

BMC Geriatr 23 (1) 810 [2023-12-05; online 2023-12-05]

Older people hospitalized for COVID-19 are a vulnerable group due to the disease itself, aging and often loss of hearing and vision. Person-centered care, where patients have opportunities to communicate and participate in their own care, is important. However, because healthcare staff needed to wear personal protective equipment during the pandemic, to protect the patients and themselves, providing person-centered care was often difficult. This study aims to describe older hospitalized patients' experiences both of being cared for, while having COVID-19, and of the care provided by healthcare staff wearing PPE. Fourteen older patients, over 65 years of age, were interviewed, and the data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The study adhered to Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research guidelines. Three subthemes and one overall theme, "The desire for survival overshadows difficulties", emerged in the analysis. The main findings revealed that the older hospitalized patients experienced the care they received from the healthcare staff as satisfactory. The older patients reported understanding and accepting that the pandemic situation meant that their ability to participate in their own care and communicate with healthcare staff were given lower priority. Older hospitalized patients need to be provided person-centered care, and situations such as a pandemic are no exception. Care tasks that are not acute in nature, e.g., planning for patients' return home, could be conducted by healthcare staff not required to wear PPE.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38053062

DOI 10.1186/s12877-023-04562-1

Crossref 10.1186/s12877-023-04562-1

pmc: PMC10698926
pii: 10.1186/s12877-023-04562-1

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