Person-centred care to prevent hospitalisations – a focus group study addressing the views of healthcare providers

BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Jun 20;22(1):801. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-08198-6.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The primary healthcare sector comprises various health services, including disease prevention at local level. Research shows that targeted primary healthcare services can prevent the development of acute complications and ultimately reduce the risk of hospitalisations. While interdisciplinary collaboration has been suggested as a means to improve the quality and responsiveness of personal care needs in preventive services, effective implementation remains a challenge. To improve the quality and responsiveness of primary healthcare and to develop initiatives to support the interdisciplinary collaboration in preventive services, there is a need to investigate the views of primary healthcare providers. The aim of this study was to investigate perceptions of preventive care among primary healthcare providers by examining their views on what constitutes a need for hospitalisation, and which strategies are found useful to prevent hospitalisation. Further, to explain how interdisciplinary collaboration can be supported with a view to providing person-centred care.

METHODS: Five focus group interviews were conducted with 27 healthcare providers, including general practitioners, social and healthcare assistants, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, home care nurses, specialist nurses and acute care nurses. Interviews were transcribed, and analysed with qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: Three categories emerged from the analysis: 1) Mental and social conditions influence physical functioning and hospitalisation need, 2) Well-established primary healthcare services are important to provide person-centred care through interdisciplinary collaboration and 3) Interdisciplinary collaboration in primary healthcare services is predominantly focussed on handling acute physical conditions. These describe that the healthcare providers are attentive towards the influence of mental, social and physical conditions on the risk of hospitalisation, entailing a focus on person-centred care. Nevertheless, in the preventive services, interdisciplinary collaboration focusses primarily on handling acute physical conditions, which constitutes a barrier for interdisciplinary collaboration.

CONCLUSIONS: By focusing on the whole person, it could be possible to provide more person-centred care through interdisciplinary collaboration and ultimately to prevent some hospitalisations. Stakeholders at all levels should be informed about the relevance of considering mental, social and physical conditions to improve the quality and responsiveness of primary healthcare services and to develop initiatives to support interdisciplinary collaboration.

PMID:35725608 | DOI:10.1186/s12913-022-08198-6

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