To investigate patient expectations of and satisfaction with in-hospital discharge planning after total hip-joint replacement surgery in early and late discharge patient groups.
A qualitative study describing patients’ experience of discharge planning.
Thirty-three consecutive patients requiring primary total hip-joint replacement from two metropolitan hospitals.
Participants completed in-depth, semistructured interviews on the day of discharge from the hospital and again 4 to 8 weeks later. Thematic analysis of the transcripts was made after comparing data from early and late discharge groups.
Attendance at preassessment clinic was facilitated acceptable satisfaction levels for patients in both early and late discharge groups. Although that written information provided was timely, restricted opportunity for dialogue with health professionals limited patient knowledge and understanding of recovery.
Multidisciplinary teams in orthopaedic practice face the challenge of finding better ways to coordinate care and ensure people undergoing total hip-joint replacement therapy surgery have individualized care. A nurse mentor-coach could be one way to ensure patients’ education needs in this area are met.
Future studies could investigate nurses’ work in discharge planning and identify any influence that their holistic approach to care could bring to a collaborative discharge process.
Jann M. Fielden, RCpN, PGCert, MA, Research Fellow, University of Otago, Wellington South, New Zealand, and Nursing Lecturer, Whitireia Polytechnic, Porirua City, New Zealand.
Susan Scott, RGON, RM, MA, Senior Lecturer/Wellington Campus Coordinator, Massey University, Mt. Cook, Wellington, New Zealand.
J. Geoffrey Horne, MBChB, FRACS, Orthopaedic Surgeon/Professor of Surgery, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington South, New Zealand.