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Perspectives of nursing professionals and older adults differ on aspects of care for older people after a nationwide improvement program

Posted on 2018-05-02 - 05:00
Abstract Background The perspectives of nursing professionals might differ from those of older adults when it comes to care for older people. This cross-sectional study compares the views of older adults with the views of nursing professionals on the quality of care after a nationwide improvement program for care for older people was implemented (2008–2016) in the Netherlands. Methods Questionnaire data were used from 385 nursing professionals (response rate 51%) that were part of the Nursing Staff Panel, a nationwide representative group of nursing staff, and working in home care, hospitals or general practices. Additionally, questionnaire data were used from 73 older adults (response rate 81%) who were involved in regional networks to discuss project proposals and to represent the voice of older adults in the nationwide improvement program. Participants were asked to evaluate care for older people with regard to collaboration between healthcare organizations and with regard to the tailored service, accessibility, and quality of care within their organizations and in the region in which they lived. Results A majority of older adults (54%) and nursing professionals (61%) felt that collaboration with others had improved over the last few years. Approximately one third of the older adults stated that care for older people was tailored to fit individual needs and was accessible most of the time or always, as opposed to approximately two thirds of the professionals. Moreover, 17% older adults thought that the quality of care was good, compared with 54% of the nursing professionals. 77% of the nursing professionals and 94% of the older adults thought that improvements were still needed in care for older people, for example better integration of the different aspects of care and a more patient-centered approach. Conclusion Older adults who were involved in networks of the improvement program generally gave a less positive evaluation of aspects of care for older people and its development than nursing professionals. Considering differences in the perspectives of key stakeholders is relevant for the development and evaluation of nationwide improvement programs, for a correct interpretation of findings, and for making appropriate recommendations.

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