Aim: To examine how older persons in need of home-nursing care and their relatives experience the discharge process and develop a model that explains the experience.
Background: The discharge process has well-known deficiencies and is therefore a challenging issue requiring improvement in many countries. Research focusing on patient-centred factors has attracted very little critical attention.
Design: Grounded theory was used to analyze semi-structured interviews with 26 older persons and their relatives.
Findings: The analysis resulted in a theoretical model that depicts factors determining whether the older persons and their relatives feel prepared or unprepared for life at home at the time of discharge.
Conclusions: The older persons and/or their relatives felt prepared at the time of discharge if their needs were satisfied in the three significant areas of preparation. Not only were the professionals' skills of the utmost importance in preparing the older persons/relatives, but also the latter's own approach if the professionals were unskilled.
Relevance for clinical practice: A knowledge of the preparation areas and skills can be of use for improving the quality of the discharge process from the older persons' and their relatives' perspective, i.e. through policies, checklists and teaching programmes.
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.