Communication may help patients overcome misperceptions of prognosis

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2017 12:04 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 24 (ANI): A team of researchers has suggested that open channels of communication may help patients with serious medical problems to overcome the misperceptions of prognosis

In long-term acute care (LTAC) patients with serious medical problems require intense, special treatment for an extended period of time-usually 20 to 30 days

The study explained that by establishing optimal channels of communication to overcome barriers and empower patients' family members could improve the quality of transitions of care in the intensive care setting

The team from the Aventura Hospital Medical Center in Aventura, Florida, aimed to assess the quality of continuity of care by analysing family perceptions, education and their psychological stress during the process.

Lead researcher Dr. Lee said that the perception of patients' prognosis, disposition and length-of-stay varies significantly among patients' families.

"Perception diversity could precipitate families' emotional distress and challenge effective communication," Dr. Lee added.

From April 2016 to March 2017, the team conducted a quality improvement project in long-term acute care (LTAC) facilities in South Florida.

Family members of individuals transferred to an LTAC were given a 15-item questionnaire to complete.

The patients were asked to recall their experiences prior to ICU hospitalisation.

Of the 50 patients who participated, 44 returned a questionnaire and results varied significantly.

As it pertains to recovery, 25 percent expected their family members to completely recover, 73 percent expected recovery with disabilities and 2.2 percent expected no recovery.

Additional responses showed that knowledge of care was very limited in patients' family members-66 percent of participants did not report a satisfactory level of knowledge, equipment or medical services their family members required.

"Establishing optimal channels of communication to overcome barriers and empower patients' family members could improve the quality of transitions of care in the intensive care setting," Dr. Lee explained.

The results are scheduled to be published at CHEST Annual Meeting 2017 in Toronto.

The research is published in the journal CHEST® website. (ANI)

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