A mixed method thematic review: Health-related decision-making by the older person

Lindy King, Ann Harrington, Ecushla Linedale, Elizabeth Tanner

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims and objectives: To undertake a mixed methods thematic literature review that explored how elderly adults approached decision-making in regard to their health care following discharge. Background: A critical time for appropriate health decisions occurs during hospital discharge planning with nursing staff. However, little is known how the 89% of elderly living at home make decisions regarding their health care. Research into older adults’ management of chronic conditions emerges as an important step to potentially encourage symptom monitoring, prevent missed care and detect deterioration. All should reduce the risk of hospital re-admission. Design: A mixed methods thematic literature review was undertaken. The structure followed the PRISMA reporting guidelines for systematic reviews recommended by the EQUATOR network. Methods: PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and Scopus online databases were searched using keywords, inclusion and exclusion criteria. References drawn from relevant publications, identified by experts and published between 1995 and 2017 were also considered. Twenty-five qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies and reviews were critically appraised (CASP 2013) before inclusion in the review. Analysis of each study's findings was undertaken using Braun and Clarke's (2006) steps to identify major themes and sub-themes. Results: Four main themes associated with health-related decision-making in the elderly were identified: “the importance of maintaining independence,” “decision making style,” “management of conditions at home” and “discharge planning.”. Conclusion: Health care decision preferences in the elderly emerged as highly complex and influenced by multiple factors. Development of a tool to assess these components has been recommended. Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses play a vital role in exploring and understanding the influence that maintaining independence has with each patient. This understanding provides an initial step toward development of a tool to assist collaboration between patients and healthcare professionals involved in their care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e1327-e1343
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
    Issue number7-8
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


    • aged
    • community living
    • decision-making
    • decision-making preferences
    • frail older
    • health
    • independent living
    • literature review
    • nursing
    • older


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