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Patients with comorbidities perceived that acute care services did not fully acknowledge or accommodate the comprehensive care that they required

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 Q How did patients with comorbidities who required an acute hospital stay perceive the quality of acute care services?

DESIGN

Qualitative descriptive design informed by Colaizzi’s phenomenological method.

SETTING

Metropolitan hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

PATIENTS

A purposive sample of 12 patients >18 years of age (age range 34–77 y, 50% women) who had ⩾1 chronic condition (mean 6 chronic conditions) for approximately 5 years, required an acute care stay for >4 days in a large metropolitan private hospital, and understood and spoke English.

METHODS

Individual semistructured interviews were done within 14 days of hospital discharge after an acute illness episode. Data collection and analysis were concurrent, and interviews continued until no new major themes emerged. Analysis was done on verbatim transcripts, field notes, and patient medical histories. A template analysis style was used based on Colaizzi’s phenomenological method of theme development. A second, independent data analysis was done to confirm themes. Patients were given a summary of the major findings to verify interpretations.

MAIN FINDINGS

3 themes specific to the comorbidity experience emerged. The first theme was poor continuity in the care of comorbidities. In the acute care setting, patients felt that nursing staff managed the …

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