Person-centered chronic illness management in the nursing home
Garcia, Theresa J. De Hoyos
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The Baby-boom generation, a major contributor to an unprecedented increase in older-aged people, is known for its zest for life and autonomy. Boomers are predicted to enter nursing homes in record numbers with multiple chronic illnesses and person-centered health care expectations. The purpose of this work was to describe current chronic illness management practices in nursing homes focused on person-centered (resident-directed) care and involvement of residents in health-related decision-making and self-care activities. Four projects were undertaken to accomplish this objective: (1) a systematic review of the quantitative literature regarding the management of type 2 diabetes, an exemplar chronic illness; (2) a synthesis of the qualitative literature describing chronically ill, older-aged adults' perceptions of chronic illness care decision-making; (3) an ethnographic pilot study describing the meaning of having type 2 diabetes to nursing home residents; and (4) a qualitative descriptive study of secondary data describing nursing home stakeholder perceptions of opportunities for resident involvement in chronic illness decision-making and self-care activities. Wagner's Chronic Care Model, modified for the nursing home, was the sensitizing framework for this research. Twenty studies met criteria for the systematic review, which described a lack of adherence to clinical practice guidelines and rare inclusion of the resident and family in management practices. The synthesis of 7 qualitative studies revealed 4 themes: (1) Being recognized because I matter; (2) Awareness of importance; (3) Empower through connections and opportunities; and (4) Time is precious. Cognitively capable older-aged adults described benefits from involvement in health care decisions and harm from non-involvement. They perceived inadequate time spent with health care providers as a major determinant of involvement. The pilot ethnography included 3 residents. Findings revealed a perception of few diabetes management choices but many unspoken resident preferences. The qualitative descriptive secondary analysis study included 5 residents, 7 family members, 8 advanced practice registered nurses, 5 physicians, and 6 administrators. Stakeholders perceived many opportunities for resident involvement in decision-making and self-care, but described as many limitations. Findings indicated a shortage of health care providers and differing stakeholder ideas of purpose and goals restricted resident involvement. Clinical, research, and policy implications were discussed.