Post-hospitalization experiences of older adults diagnosed with diabetes: "It was daunting!"

Geriatr Nurs. 2018 Jan-Feb;39(1):103-111. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2017.07.005. Epub 2017 Aug 12.


Multimorbidity combined with geriatric syndromes in older adults with diabetes exacerbate their risks for poor post-discharge outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine self-described hospital-to-home transition challenges encountered by older adults with a diagnosis of diabetes within the first 30 days following discharge. The qualitative responses for this paper emerged from a larger mixed methods study (n = 96) in which participants provided free responses specifying transition challenges during follow-up telephone interviews on the 7th day (n = 67) and 30th day (n = 55) post-discharge. Using inductive content analysis techniques four major themes emerged: a) "The daily stuff is difficult"; b) engineering care at home is complex; c) "life is very difficult"; and d) managing complex health problems is difficult. Findings suggest existing system-level metrics such as readmission rates fail to capture the complex and dynamic interplay of personal, family and social factors which complicate hospital-to-home transitions of older adults with pre-existing diabetes.

Keywords: Care transition; Diabetes; Multimorbidity; Older adults; Post-discharge coping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Readmission
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors