Realising the voice of consumers experiencing a metropolitan transition care program: A qualitative study

Ms Michelle Shannon1, Ms Kathryn Watson1, Ms Judy  Goroncy1, Dr. Ruth  Teh1, Ms Alesha Sayner1, Ms Megan Slattery1, A/Prof Cathy Said1

1Western Health, Williamstown, Australia

Background: Chronic health conditions are on the rise, in particular those arising from diabetes, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, and mental health in our aging populations. As people survive longer into old age with these conditions, models of care such as Transition Care Program (TCP) have become important. This community-based, multi-disciplinary team-based approach is designed to empower older people and their care-givers to consolidate their pre-discharge hospital goals. Yet, use of quantitative measures such as length of stay or number of falls to evaluate use of this program continues to be reported mostly in studies. Application of only these methods limits our understanding of how people value and use multi-factorial components embedded in TCP. More recently, the perspectives of older people and their care-givers is being explored using qualitative approaches seeking to understand and explain the impact of TCP on people. This is critical for health organizations to more fully understand what components of a model of care work or do not work from the consumer perspective.

Method: Ethics approval was granted January 2019. We will purposively recruit those consenting participants who have been on TCP for a minimum of four weeks. Over the next twelve months, we will use semi-structured interviewing of TCP Clients and their Care-givers, in combination with field notes, gathered in a single session. All data will be transcribed verbatim, and themes and sub-themes will be identified and analysed using Thematic Content analysis.

Results: Demographic data of two cohorts (Clients and Caregivers) will be tabulated. Themes and sub-themes will be developed iteratively from the interview data and tabulated.

Discussion:Vulnerable consumers involved in publicly-funded health programs, have important attitudes and perspectives that can only be accurately gathered using a research-informed approach. Knowledge of what TCP consumers value in an existing program can potentially lead to future community-based care improvements.


Biography:

Michelle Shannon MSc. is a Physiotherapist wiht a long career working in care of people with neurological injury/ disease, and more recently in community aged care. She is a strong advocate of using motivational coaching and behaviour change to empower people living with chronic conditions. In addition, Michelle is completing a PhD examining her other interest of the recovery of people with neurological disorders and the design of hospitals.

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