Elderly persons' experiences of participation in hospital discharge process

Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Oct;85(1):68-73. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.08.025. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe older hospital patients' discharge experiences on participation in the discharge planning.

Methods: A sample of 254 patients aged 80+ was interviewed using a questionnaire developed by the research team. Data were collected by face-to-face interviewing during the first two weeks following patients discharge from hospital.

Results: In spite of their advanced age the patients in this study did express a clear preference for participation. However, there were no significant correlation between patients' wish for participation and experienced opportunity to share decisions. Hearing ability was the only significant factor affecting the chance to participate, whereas sociodemographic factors did not significantly affect on the likelihood participation the discharge process.

Conclusion: The actual practice of involving old people in the discharge process is not well developed as experienced by old patients themselves. The fact that factors like gender and education have little influence on participation in the oldest patients might be related to age; when you get old enough, old is all that is 'visible'.

Practice implications: To determine the extent of elderly patients' desire to participate, one must actively look for it both through research and in the hands-on process of discharge.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Preference*