"She Knows Me Best": A Qualitative Study of Patient and Caregiver Views on the Role of the Primary Care Physician Follow-Up Post-Discharge [post]

Sarah Griffiths, Gaibrie Stephen, Tara Kiran, Karen Okrainec
2021 unpublished
BackgroundPatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) are at high-risk of readmission after hospital discharge. There is conflicting evidence however on whether timely follow-up with a primary care provider reduces that risk. The objective of this study is to understand the perspectives of patients with COPD and CHF, and their caregivers, on the role of primary care provider follow-up after hospital discharge.MethodsA qualitative study design
more » ... h semi-structured interviews was conducted among patients or their family caregivers admitted with COPD or CHF who were enrolled in a multicenter mixed-methods study at three acute care hospitals in Ontario, Canada. Participants were interviewed between December 2017 to January 2019, the majority discharged from hospital at least 30 days prior to their interview. Interviews were analyzed independently by three authors using a deductive directed content analysis, with the fourth author cross-comparing themes.ResultsInterviews with 16 participants (eight patients and eight caregivers) revealed four main themes. First, participants valued visiting their primary care provider after discharge to build upon their longitudinal relationship. Second, primary care providers played a key role in coordinating care. Third, there were mixed views on the ideal time for follow-up, with many participants expressing a desire to delay follow-up to stabilize following their acute hospitalization. Fourth, the link between the post-discharge visit and preventing hospital readmissions was unclear to participants, who often self-triaged based on their symptoms when deciding on the need for emergency care.ConclusionsPatients and caregivers valued in-person follow-up with their primary care provider following discharge from hospital because of the trust established through pre-existing longitudinal relationships. Our results suggest policy makers should focus on improving rates of primary care provider attachment and systems supporting informational continuity.
doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-257769/v1 fatcat:dkiwycuemzefxivr3tt52pa3hi