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During and beyond the triage encounter: Chronically ill elderly patient´s experiences throughout their emergency department attandences

Journal article
Authors Pia Olofsson
Eric Carlström
Siv Bäck-Pettersson
Published in International Emergency Nursing
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 207-213
ISSN 1755-599X
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 207-213
Language en
Keywords Emergency departments; MTS; Patient experiences; Phenomenology
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences, Other Social Sciences


Background: Chronically ill elderly patients are frequent users of care in emergency departments (EDs). Due to their presenting symptoms, these patients are often assessed on a low urgency level of priority by the triage nurse. Aim: The aim of the study was to explore and describe the experiences of a group of chronically ill elderly patients' during their triage encounter and subsequent ED stay. Method: The data consisted of 14 open-ended interviews with chronically ill patients aged between 71 and 90. years. A lifeworld approach was used in order to describe the essence of patient experiences. The study was carried out with a descriptive phenomenological research perspective. Conclusion: The visit to the ED was experienced as contradictory. The triage encounter fostered confidence and set promising expectations, but during the rest of the visit, the patient felt abandoned and considered the staff to be uncommitted and reluctant. These ambiguous experiences of their ED visits indicate a need for exploring possible ways of improving the situation for the chronically ill older person in ED. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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