Purpose: Patient-centered healthcare, with aligning treatment to a patients' goal, is recognized by experts as essential to improve healthcare for older patients with multimorbidity. Little literature exists on goals of these specific patients. Therefore, we aimed to explore goals of older hospitalized patients with multimorbidity and compare their goals to those of older hospitalized patients without multimorbidity.
Methods: Older hospitalized patients (aged ≥ 70 years) were included in a prospective mixed-methods cohort study at the University Medical Centre Groningen, the Netherlands. Goals were assessed by a standardized interview, whereafter they were categorized and analyzed descriptively.
Results: Four hundred and ninety-three older hospitalized patients (median age 75 (IQR 72-80), 64% male) were included, of which 223 patients presented with multimorbidity (45%). Goals mentioned most often were 'controlling disease' and 'alleviating complaints'. No differences were found in goals mentioned by patients with and without multimorbidity. Forty-one percent of both patients with and without multimorbidity mentioned goals that were disease-unrelated.
Conclusion: No major differences were found in goals of older hospitalized patients with and without multimorbidity. However, the large proportion of patients mentioning disease-unrelated goals emphasizes the importance of goal elicitation by healthcare professionals within hospital care to provide optimally integrated care.
Keywords: Goal setting; Multimorbidity; Older hospitalized patients; Patient-centered healthcare.
© 2023. The Author(s).