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BMJ Open


INTRODUCTION: Patient and caregiver engagement is critical, and often compromised, at points of transition between care settings, which are more common, and more challenging, for patients with complex medical problems. The consequences of poor care transitions are well-documented, both for patients and caregivers, and for the healthcare system. With an ageing population, there is greater need to focus on care transition experiences of older adults, who are often more medically complex, and more likely to require care from multiple providers across settings. The overall goal of this study is to understand what factors facilitate or hinder patient and caregiver engagement through transitions in care, and how these current engagement practices align with a previously developed engagement framework (CHOICE Framework). This study also aims to co-develop resources needed to support engagement and identify how these resources and materials should be implemented in practice.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study uses ethnographic approaches to explore the dynamics of patient and caregiver engagement, or lack thereof, during care transitions across three regions within Ontario. With the help of a front-line champion, patients (n=18-24), caregivers (n=18-24) and healthcare providers (n=36-54) are recruited from an acute care hospital unit (or similar) and followed through their care journey. Data are collected using in-depth semi-structured interviews. Workshops will be held to co-develop strategies and a plan for future implementation of resources and materials. Analysis of the data will use inductive and deductive coding techniques.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics clearance was obtained through the Western University Research Ethics Board, University of Windsor Research Ethics Board and the University of Waterloo Office of Research Ethics. The findings from this study are intended to contribute valuable evidence to further bridge the knowledge to practice gap in patient and caregiver engagement through care transitions. Findings will be disseminated through publications, conference presentations and reports.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Aged; Caregivers; Patient Transfer; Ontario; Qualitative Research; Hospitals

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