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Evaluating Improvement in the Care of Depressed Elderly Patients: An Empirical Approach to the WHO Patient Safety Model

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DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2015.55043    3,696 Downloads   4,291 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Depression among the elderly is a public health issue. This paper demonstrates the value of patient safety research for future strategies in this area. The aim of the present study was to analyse the relationship between the World Health Organization (WHO) Patient Safety (PS) Model and empirical research on depressed elderly patients’ experiences of quality and safe care. The research question was: Which patients’ experiences could be linked to quality and safe care as recommended by the WHO? We adopted an implementation approach as the starting point for this interdisciplinary project. A total of 29 individual narrative-based, in-depth interviews were performed to explore patients’ experiences and two healthcare teams participated in the focus group interviews. Interpretation of the results revealed that the 23 components of the PS model were linked to elderly patients’ experiences of quality and that safe care was not achieved. There was evidence of low quality and lack of safe care due to psychological distress, stress and fatigue, the absence of involvement in decision-making, misdiagnosis, sleep problems as a result of harm from medical error and a poor physical state. Patients’ experiences of loneliness gave rise to suicidal thoughts. In conclusion, quality improvement is necessary in all components of the WHO PS model. We recommend structural, process and outcome improvements, more specifically: active involvement, shared decision-making and increased self-management.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Severinsson, E. and Holm, A. (2015) Evaluating Improvement in the Care of Depressed Elderly Patients: An Empirical Approach to the WHO Patient Safety Model. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 397-406. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.55043.

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