Health care providers' perceptions of family caregivers' involvement in consultations within a geriatric hospital setting

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Abstract

This study explored health professionals' (HPs') experiences of interacting with family care-givers (FCs), and the strategies they employ during these interactions. Qualitative methods involved audio-taped and transcribed in-depth semi-structured interviews with 21 HPs (doctors, nurses) from the geriatric wards of two tertiary hospitals. Framework methods were used to analyze data. Seven main themes emerged: Variation in family behaviours; FCs face many challenges; Psychosocial factors influence FCs' behaviours; Attitudes, competing responsibilities and lack of resources influencing HPs' strategies and behaviours; Strategies employed by HPs to improve communication; HPs' self-care strategies; Impact of interactions on HPs and the healthcare system. Inter-relationships between the themes were then integrated into a three-part model. This study offered insights into HPs' perspectives, experiences, and behaviours in geriatric consultations where FCs are present. Findings emphasised the need for HP training programs to improve communication and collaboration between HPs, patients, and FCs.

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