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Exploring access to care among older people in the last phase of life using the behavioural model of health services use: a qualitative study from the perspective of the next of kin of older persons who had died in a nursing home
Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
City Office, Unit of Research and Development and Social Sustainability Development, Malmö, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 15, article id 138Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: There is little investigation into what care older people access during the last phase of their life and what factors enable access to care in this group. Illuminating this from the perspective of the next of kin may provide valuable insights into how the health and social care system operates with reference to providing care for this vulnerable group. The behavioural model of health services use has a wide field of application but has not been tested conceptually regarding access to care from the perspective of the next of kin. The aim of this study was to explore the care accessed by older people during the last phase of their life from the perspective of the next of kin and to conceptually test the behavioural model of health services use.

Methods: The data collection took place in 2011 by means of qualitative interviews with 14 next of kin of older people who had died in a nursing home. The interviews were analysed using directed content analysis. The behavioural model of health services use was used in deriving the initial coding scheme, including the categories: utilization of health services, consumer satisfaction and characteristics of the population at risk.

Results: Utilization of health services in the last phase of life was described in five subcategories named after the type of care accessed i.e. admission to a nursing home, primary healthcare, hospital care, dental care and informal care. The needs were illuminated in the subcategories: general deterioration, medical conditions and acute illness and deterioration when death approaches. Factors that enabled access to care were described in three subcategories: the organisation of care, next of kin and the older person. These factors could also constitute barriers to accessing care. Next of kin's satisfaction with care was illuminated in the subcategories: satisfaction, dissatisfaction and factors influencing satisfaction. One new category was constructed inductively: the situation of the next of kin.

Conclusions: A bed in a nursing home was often accessed during what the next of kin regarded as the last phase of life. The needs among older people in the last phase of life can be regarded as complex and worsening over time. Most enabling factors lied within the organisation of care but the next of kin enabled access to care and contributed significantly to care quality. More research is needed regarding ageism and stigmatic attitudes among professionals and informal caregivers acting as a barrier to accessing care for older people in the last phase of their life. The behavioural model of health services use was extended with a new category showing that the situation of the next of kin must be taken into consideration when investigating access to care from their perspective. It may also be appropriate to include informal care as part of the concept of access when investigating access to care among older people in the last phase of their life. The results may not be transferable to older people who have not gained access to a bed in a nursing home or to countries where the healthcare system differs largely from the Swedish. © 2015 Condelius and Andersson.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, UK: BioMed Central, 2015. Vol. 15, article id 138
Keywords [en]
Health services accessibility, Aged/80 and over, Next of kin, Nursing homes, Qualitative Research
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-40898DOI: 10.1186/s12877-015-0126-9ISI: 000363365800003PubMedID: 26502955Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84945262404OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-40898DiVA, id: diva2:1369584
Funder
Vårdal FoundationAvailable from: 2019-11-12 Created: 2019-11-12 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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