Care for elderly patients requires increased responsibility from the nursing staff since people in old age, as a rule, cannot provide themselves with all the necessary conditions for life. Especially it concerns those who have severe chronic diseases and are forced to spend a long time in medical centers. Therefore, there is a need to develop a special care methodology that will include not only qualified nursing care but also educational courses to teach patients the basics of prevention and protection against their maladies. It is assumed that the use of this complex for six months will help to improve the health status of patients and their literacy concerning certain diseases.
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The goal of the program is to improve the health status of the elderly with chronic diseases through training. It is assumed that the indicators can significantly change for the better during the six months of intervention. The task is to prove that treatment together with educational practice is of greater practical value than the simple intake of medications.
The primary clinical question is as follows: can educational intervention be more effective than simple treatment for older adults with chronic diseases? If successful, this practice will certainly be used regularly since it does not require any serious investment. At the same time, the contribution to medical practice will be essential.
The timeframe for the indicated intervention is six months. It is assumed that over a period of half a year, the participants in the study can be encouraged to volunteer for preventive care. Meiboom, Diedrich, Vries, Hertogh, and Scheele (2015) claim that working with the elderly can be ineffective even if time is not limited since such people are often indifferent and poorly initiative. Nevertheless, it is planned that all the participants in the study will be sufficiently well motivated.
The main stakeholders of the program are the elderly with certain chronic diseases, as well as a group of junior medical personnel. The more successful the program is, the more chances are that both patients and nurses will benefit from participating in the intervention. The elderly will be able to help themselves independently in case of danger to health, and nurses will not have to constantly explain to their wards the importance and necessity of this or that course of treatment.
The study will have a mixed method since it is necessary to compile a statistical analysis of the number of people participating in the study and to conduct an oral survey among the members of the program. According to Hamine, Gerth-Guyette, Faulx, Green, and Ginsburg (2015), the benefit of patient education is that the level of readmission in clinics is reduced, as trained people can help themselves. As an educational base, a course of lectures, as well as relevant video materials will be presented.
The intervention will take place gradually, and education will be held consistently. The design of the mixed method implies the use of both quantitative and qualitative analysis to determine the effectiveness of the research results. Accordingly, both the digital statistical display of the data and text materials will be conclusions.
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All the participants in the study will be proposed to sign a voluntary agreement for membership in the program. They will be promised that their data will not be disclosed and will be used solely as a scientific necessity. However, personal information is unlikely to be interesting from a practical point of view since the central emphasis will be placed on the outcomes of work.
To begin with, it is required to assess the degree of preparedness of personnel, carrying out preparatory work and identifying weaknesses in the theoretical knowledge of employees. Further, it is essential to count the number of participants in the study and monitor what percentage of the elderly will remain in the program by the end of the sixth month of intervention. Also, the learning outcomes will constantly be recorded to compare the degree of patients’ preparedness before and after the study. Based on the statistics and the survey, the whole picture of the success of work will be compiled.
As the main research instruments, a statistical table, as well as an oral questionnaire, should be prepared. Conversations with patients, as Fosbøl et al. (2014) remark, have a positive impact not only on the results of the study but also on establishing a trusting relationship among medical professionals and patients. The table with the digital data will be used as a visual representation of the number of participants and all the information received in the work process.
Outcomes to be Evaluated
The main results of the intervention, which will be taken into account and analyzed, are the health status of the elderly with chronic diseases and the number of participants at the end of the study. If the effectiveness of the proposed set of measures is statistically proven, it will be a significant contribution to modern nursing practice. The activities will continue to improve the training course.
Information on the results of the research can be disseminated through the Internet, as well as by publishing it. Colleagues from other medical centers can be aware of the program. If successful, as many clinics as possible should take this practice as a basis.
Thus, the complex of educational materials is assumed to improve the health status of the elderly with chronic diseases. A mixed method of research can be effective for working and drawing up an accurate picture of the study. The results of the six-month program will prove the effectiveness of the implemented method and can be disseminated for wider use of the described practice.
Fosbøl, E. L., Dupre, M. E., Strauss, B., Swanson, D. R., Myers, B., McNally, B. F.,… Granger, C. B. (2014). Association of neighborhood characteristics with incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and rates of bystander-initiated CPR: Implications for community-based education intervention. Resuscitation, 85(11), 1512-1517.
Hamine, S., Gerth-Guyette, E., Faulx, D., Green, B. B., & Ginsburg, A. S. (2015). Impact of mHealth chronic disease management on treatment adherence and patient outcomes: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(2), e52-e84.
Meiboom, A., Diedrich, C., Vries, H. D., Hertogh, C., & Scheele, F. (2015). The hidden curriculum of the medical care for elderly patients in medical education: A qualitative study. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 36(1), 30-44.