Promoting shorter hospital stays: a longitudinal qualitative study of elderly patient and caregiver experiences of hospitalisation and discharge


This Yorkshire and Humber ARC study sought to understand older people’s and caregivers’ perspectives on hospital stays and discharge delays, to identify barriers and facilitators to shorter stays. This is important since delayed discharges contribute to functional decline and increased frailty.

Online stories and interviews with older people and relations about a recent hospital stay experience were analysed to identify key themes:

1. Deficiencies in care organisation during hospital stays
2. Negative experiences with the discharge process
3. Lack of communication and information provision
4. Meanings attached to hospitalisation and aging
5. Unmet needs in hospital
6. Importance of family member roles

The findings highlighted how poor care organization and communication can negatively impact older people’s hospital experiences and discharge. Guidance for improvement was developed.

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