Rural patientsí perceptions of their potentially preventable hospitalisation: a qualitative study
Ridge, A and Peterson, GM and Seidel, BM and Anderson, V and Nash, R, Rural patients' perceptions of their potentially preventable hospitalisation: a qualitative study, Journal of Patient Experience, 9 pp. 1-11. ISSN 2374-3735 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPHs) occur when patients receive hospital care for a condition that could have been more appropriately managed in the primary healthcare setting. It is anticipated that the causes of PPHs in rural populations may differ from those in urban populations; however, this is understudied. Semi-structured interviews with 10 rural Australian patients enabled them to describe their recent PPH experience. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to identify the common factors that may have led to their PPH. The analysis revealed that most participants had challenges associated with their health and its optimal self-management. Self-referral to hospital with the belief that this was the only treatment option available was also common. Most participants had limited social networks to call on in times of need or ill health. Finally, difficulty in accessing primary healthcare, especially urgently or after-hours, was described as a frequent cause of PPH. These qualitative accounts revealed that patients describe nonclinical risk factors as contributing to their recent PPH and reinforces that the views of patients should be included when designing interventions to reduce PPHs.
access to care, health literacy, healthcare planning or policy, patient expectations, patient perspectives/narratives, preventable hospitalization, qualitative methods, rural