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Feeling respected as a person: a qualitative analysis of frail older people's experiences on an acute geriatric ward practicing a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment

Journal article
Authors Theresa Westgård
Katarina Wilhelmson
Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff
Isabelle Ottenvall Hammar
Published in Geriatrics
Volume 4
Issue 1
ISSN 0016-867X
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Centre for Ageing and Health (Agecap)
Language en
Keywords geriatric; frail older people; person-centered care; participation; communication; understanding
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences, Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences


Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) practices multidimensional, interdisciplinary, and diagnostic processes as a means to identify care needs, plan care, and improve outcomes of frail older people. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze frail older people’s experiences of receiving CGA. Through a secondary analysis, interviews and transcripts were revisited in an attempt to discover the meaning behind the participants’ implied, ambiguous, and verbalized thoughts that were not illuminated in the primary study. Feeling “respected as a person” is the phenomenon participants described on a CGA acute geriatric ward, achieved by having a reciprocal relationship with the ward staff, enabling their participation in decisions when engaged in communication and understanding. However, when a person was too ill to participate, then care was person-supportive care. CGA, when delivered by staff practicing person-centered care, can keep the frail older person in focus despite them being a patient. If a person-centered care approach does not work because the person is too ill, then person-supportive care is delivered. However, when staff and/or organizational practices do not implement a person-centered care approach, this can hinder patients feeling “respected as a person”.

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