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Title: Experiences of Patients and Their Caregivers Admitted to a Hospital-at-Home Program in Singapore: a Descriptive Qualitative Study
Authors: Ko, SQ 
Chua, CMS 
Koh, SH
Lim, YW 
Shorey, S 
Keywords: Hospital at Home
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2022
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Citation: Ko, SQ, Chua, CMS, Koh, SH, Lim, YW, Shorey, S (2022-01-01). Experiences of Patients and Their Caregivers Admitted to a Hospital-at-Home Program in Singapore: a Descriptive Qualitative Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Hospital at Home (HaH) programs have been shown to improve clinical outcomes, quality of care, and patient satisfaction. However, how Asian patients experience HaH remained underexplored. Objective: To explore the perceptions and experiences of patients and caregivers admitted to a hospital-at-home program in Singapore. Design: Descriptive qualitative study design. Participants: Purposive sampling was used to conduct 36 interviews with 13 patients, nine Legally Acceptable Representatives (LARs), and 14 caregivers until data saturation was achieved. Interventions: NUHS@Home is a HaH program providing care through a multi-disciplinary team, enabled by remote vital signs monitoring through a tablet and wireless blood pressure and oxygen meters. Approach: This study used in-depth semi-structured individual interviews. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analyzed using Braun and Clark’s six-step inductive approach. Key Results: The overarching theme identified was “Enablers, difficulties, and improvements to the HaH experiences” which was supported by three key themes: (1) Perceived better care at home, (2) Importance of social support, and (3) Organizational structures required to support HaH. Participants described overall HaH experiences around factors contributing to their impeding engagement, overall satisfaction, and quality of care. Conclusions: Although HaH is unfamiliar to the Singapore population, most of the participants in this study had an overall positive experience. The key challenges found in this paper were the stress and inconvenience caused to caregivers. The enablers for positive HaH experiences were (1) consideration of patient’s family members as key participants in the patients’ therapeutic alliance; (2) the HaH care team must be accessible, approachable, and reassuring, and communicate frequently and timely with patients and their families; and (3) financing strategies to ensure HaH out-of-pockets costs remain affordable which are critical to keeping HaH as an option for patients and families.
Source Title: Journal of General Internal Medicine
ISSN: 0884-8734
DOI: 10.1007/s11606-022-07765-1
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