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Family Caregivers' Experiences of Within-Hospital Handoffs for Older Adults in Acute Care

Bristol, Alycia A., PhD, RN, AGCNS-BC; Crist, Janice D., PhD, RN, FNGNA, FAAN; Phillips, Linda R., PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA; Shea, Kimberly D., PhD, RN, CHPN; Lacasse, Cheryl, PhD, RN, OCN

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000306

Family caregivers' experiences during within-hospital handoffs between acute care units are not well understood. Qualitative description methodology was employed to describe family caregivers' experiences during their loved ones' handoffs. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 caregivers of hospitalized older adults. Three themes emerged: Lack of care coordination, Muddling through handoffs alone, and Wariness toward the care delivery system. Findings can help clinicians shape their interactions with caregivers to maximize their involvement in post–hospital care.

Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California (Dr Bristol); and The University of Arizona College of Nursing, Tucson (Drs Crist, Phillips, Shea, and Lacasse).

Correspondence: Alycia A. Bristol, PhD, RN, AGCNS-BC, Loma Linda University, 11262 Campus St, West Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92350 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Accepted for publication: September 23, 2017

Published ahead of print: December 8, 2017

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