Primary care practitioners’ perspectives of discharge communication and continuity of care for stroke survivors in Australia: A qualitative descriptive study

Jacinta Sheehan, Natasha A. Lannin, Kate Laver, Sandra Reeder, Anoo Bhopti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Discharge communication is an important component of care transition between hospitals and community care, particularly for the complex needs of stroke survivors. Despite international research and regulation, ineffective information exchange during care transitions continues to compromise patient outcomes. Primary care practitioners are increasingly responsible for the provision of stroke care in the community, yet it is not known how their role is supported by discharge communication. The aim of this qualitative study was to describe the primary care practitioner perspective of discharge communication, identifying the barriers and enablers relative to continuity of care for stroke survivors. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with primary care practitioners across Australia, between April and September 2020. Data were analysed using thematic analysis with a constant-comparison approach. The findings suggest that discharge communication is often inadequate for the complex care and recovery needs of stroke survivors. The challenges in accessing care plans were noted barriers to continuity of care, while shared understandings of stroke survivors’ needs were identified as enablers. As discharge communication processes were perceived to be disconnected, primary care practitioners suggested a team approach across care settings. It is concluded that initiatives are required to increase primary care collaboration with hospital teams (which include stroke survivors and their caregivers) to improve continuity of care after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Early online date26 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Australia
  • communication
  • Continuity of care
  • humans
  • patient discharge
  • qualitative research
  • stroke

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