Content » Vol 43, Issue 10

Original report

”If I didn’t have anybody, what would I have done?”: Experiences of older adults and their discharge home after lower limb orthopaedic surgery

Meredith A.C. Perry, Sheena Hudson, Kathleen Ardis
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0874


Objective: To explore the perceptions of being discharged home following lower limb orthopaedic surgery in older adults.
Methods: Qualitative interviews with 11 patients over the age of 65 years were conducted between 6 and 12 weeks after
discharge home and analysed using interpretative pheno­menological analysis (IPA).
Results: Three themes were identified from analysis of the participants’ experiences of rehabilitation during the 6–12 weeks following discharge: (i) lack of a shared decision on when to go home; (ii) dependent on family to go home and to feel confident there; and (iii) trial and error rehabilitation. A further theme: a paternalistic medical model was also identified in participants’ experiences of contact with health professionals.
Conclusion: Participants had positive experiences of being discharged home from hospital. However, few participants played an active role in their discharge, all required the support of family to go home, and many were left unsure of how and when to return to usual activities. A paternalistic medical model was apparent. Family support, not without costs, was integral to discharge and rehabilitation at home.

Lay Abstract


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