Perceptions of Bed Days for Individuals With Chronic Illness in Extended Care Facilities

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We explored perceptions of bed days (defined as staying in bed for 1 or more days per week) in 46 patients receiving extended in-patient services for chronic illness management. Illness onset or exacerbation (35%), limited mobility (22%), and tiredness (15%) were the most prevalent reasons for initiating bed days. Tiredness (44%), limited mobility (26%), pain (24%), bowel treatment (22), and conserving energy for future activities (20%) were the most prevalent current reasons. Most participants (74%) noted having been involved in decisions concerning bed days and preferred to continue bed days. The results suggest patients schedule bed days to manage several health related symptoms. Based on our findings, nurses could help patients to alternate daily upright activity with rest to mitigate the known consequences of bed days.

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