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Patient-identified information and communication needs in the context of major trauma

Braaf, S; Ameratunga, S; Nunn, A; Christie, N; Teague, W; Judson, R; Gabbe, B; (2018) Patient-identified information and communication needs in the context of major trauma. BMC Health Services Research , 18 , Article 163. 10.1186/s12913-018-2971-7. Green open access

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BACKGROUND: Navigating complex health care systems during the multiple phases of recovery following major trauma entails many challenges for injured patients. Patients’ experiences communicating with health professionals are of particular importance in this context. The aim of this study was to explore seriously injured patients’ perceptions of communication with and information provided by health professionals in their first 3-years following injury. METHODS: A qualitative study designed was used, nested within a population-based longitudinal cohort study. Semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken with 65 major trauma patients, aged 17 years and older at the time of injury, identified through purposive sampling from the Victorian State Trauma Registry. A detailed thematic analysis was undertaken using a framework approach. RESULTS: Many seriously injured patients faced barriers to communication with health professionals in the hospital, rehabilitation and in the community settings. Key themes related to limited contact with health professionals, insufficient information provision, and challenges with information coordination. Communication difficulties were particularly apparent when many health professionals were involved in patient care, or when patients transitioned from hospital to rehabilitation or to the community. Difficulties in patient-health professional engagement compromised communication and exchange of information particularly at transitions of care, e.g., discharge from hospital. Conversely, positive attributes displayed by health professionals such as active discussion, clear language, listening and an empathetic manner, all facilitated effective communication. Most patients preferred communication consistent with patient-centred approaches, and the use of multiple modes to communicate information. CONCLUSIONS: The communication and information needs of seriously injured patients were inconsistently met over the course of their recovery continuum. To assist patients along their recovery trajectories, patient-centred communication approaches and considerations for environmental and patients’ health literacy are recommended. Additionally, assistance with information coordination and comprehensive multimodal information provision should be available for injured patients.

Type: Article
Title: Patient-identified information and communication needs in the context of major trauma
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12913-018-2971-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-2971-7
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Trauma, Injury, Disability, Recovery, Communication, Health literacy, Interview
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045056
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