Home Press Releases Open channels of communication may help patients overcome misperceptions of prognosis

Open channels of communication may help patients overcome misperceptions of prognosis

TORONTO – Researchers from the Aventura Hospital Medical Center in Aventura, Florida, aimed to assess the quality of continuity of care by analyzing family perceptions, education, and their psychological stress during the process.

From April 2016 to March 2017, researchers 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. Patients were asked to recall their experiences prior to ICU hospitalization. Of the 50 patients who participated, 44 returned a questionnaire, and results varied significantly.

As it pertains to recovery, 25% expected their family member to completely recover, 73% expected recovery with disabilities, and 2.2% expected no recovery. Additional responses showed that knowledge of care was very limited in patients’ family members– 66% of participants did not report a satisfactory level of knowledge, equipment, or medical services their family member required.

“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,” says Dr. Lee, lead researcher, “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."

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