Exploration of patients' needs for information on arrival at a geriatric and rehabilitation unit

J Clin Nurs. 2005 Jul;14(6):704-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01140.x.


Aim: The aim of this study was to gather information about patients' needs prior to transferring from an acute care facility to a rehabilitation setting that could assist patients to engage actively in rehabilitation activities upon entering the unit.

Background: The provision of information is an important aspect of health care as it assists patients to become informed and actively participate in this care. Improved recovery has been associated with patients' adherence to care regimes.

Method: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with a convenient sample of nine patients shortly after admission/transfer to a rehabilitation unit and with four of these patients after discharge. The intent was to learn what information patients receive prior to admission to the rehabilitation unit, whether this information is useful and whether different information would be more useful to facilitate patients' engagement in the activities central to rehabilitation treatment.

Results: Interviews revealed that, generally, patients received very little information about what to expect on admission to the rehabilitation unit and patients' engagement was more dependent on perceptions about rehabilitation. Thematic analysis identified that, in general, rehabilitation was perceived as 'a ticket out' and 'a good thing'. In relation to provision of information of participants identified that 'doesn't matter that I don't know'; 'information is not always meaningful' and 'I will adjust in my own time'.

Relevance to clinical practice: Health professionals need to recognize that patients are often compliant with decisions made while they are inpatients of the current health care system. Even though patients may 'actively participate' in rehabilitation processes it is often still as a passive recipient of health care.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged / psychology*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Geriatrics
  • Hospital Units
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Admission*
  • Patient Discharge / standards
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Patient Transfer / standards
  • Queensland
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Surveys and Questionnaires