Patient participation during discharge medication counselling: Observing real-life communication between healthcare professionals and patients

Link to article at PubMed

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2023 May 11:S1551-7411(23)00272-3. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2023.05.008. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Previous studies on hospital discharge showed limited patient involvement, despite its positive outcomes. In this study, provider-patient communication used to enhance patient participation during discharge medication counselling was examined.

METHODS: This study comprises a qualitative descriptive observational study. Thirty-four discharge consultations were observed, audio recorded and analysed. We conducted a deductive analysis, elaborating on findings from earlier research. We selected themes and underlying codes illustrating professional-patient communication. For every theme, we identified examples to demonstrate its manifestation during discharge medication counselling. We also assessed what information healthcare professionals (HCPs) shared.

RESULTS: HCPs used cues to increase patient participation, e.g. inquired about patient's preferences, showed empathy and support, and verified understanding of information shared. Patient participation occurred through asking questions, and expressing concerns. A central component in discharge medication counselling was the transmission of information from HCPs to patients. This resulted in HCPs taking a leading role.

CONCLUSIONS: Several HCP cues were detected inviting patients to participate in consultations. Some patients participated in discharge medication counselling. This was influenced by timing of discharge consults, the performing HCP and presence of a relative.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: HCPs shared a lot of information with patients. However, this does not automatically mean that patients will be able to understand and apply this information. HCPs should understand the importance of using cues to enable patient participation. One example is using the teach-back method for verifying patient understanding. It may also be desirable to ensure that a relative is present when discharge information is offered.

PMID:37202280 | DOI:10.1016/j.sapharm.2023.05.008

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