Follow-up visits to older patients after a hospital stay: nurses' perspectives

Br J Community Nurs. 2019 Feb 2;24(2):80-86. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2019.24.2.80.


Older patients with multimorbidity and extensive healthcare needs are at risk of frequent readmission to hospital after discharge. With a Swedish report entitled 'Follow-up 48-72' as its basis, the present study aimed to describe nurses' experiences of follow-up visits to older patients with multimorbidity 48 to 72 hours after discharge from hospital. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 nurses experienced with such home visits to older patients, and the material was analysed by qualitative content analysis. The results indicate that such visits by nurses can relieve patient anxiety, as patients are often unsure of the next steps, in terms of medication and care. According to the nurses, these visits created trust in the nurse-patient relationship and ensured patient safety. Follow-up visits soon after discharge from hospital should become a part of routine nursing, especially for older people with multimorbidity.

Keywords: Follow-up visits; Multimorbidity; Nursing; Re-hospitalisation; Supervision.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Female
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Nurses'*
  • State Medicine
  • United Kingdom