Goals and outcomes of hospitalised older people: does the current hospital care match the needs of older people?

Barbara C. Munster*, Gerdine G. Boot, Suzanne Festen, Sophia E. Rooij

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background Due to the rising number of acutely hospitalised older people in the coming years, there is increased interest in tailoring care to the individual goals and preferences of patients in order to reach patient-centred care. Aims To investigate the goals of older hospitalised patients and the extent to which these goals were reached during hospitalisation. Methods A single-centre prospective cohort study was performed in The Netherlands between December 2017 and January 2018. Participants aged 70 years or older were included. In the first 3 days of hospitalisation, a semi-structured interview was conducted to assess the patient goals regarding the hospital admission. At 1-2 weeks after discharge, patients were asked to what extent the recent hospitalisation had contributed to reaching their goals. Results One hundred and four patients were included and follow up was completed for 86 patients. The main goals reported at hospital admission were 'remaining alive' (72.1%), 'feeling better' (71.2%) and 'improving condition' (65.4%). Hospitalisation seemed to have a positive contribution to reaching the goals 'remaining alive', 'knowing what is wrong', 'feeling better', 'reducing pain' and 'controlling disease'. Hospitalisation seemed to contribute little to reaching the goals in the categories 'enjoying life', 'independency and freedom', 'improving daily functioning', 'hobbies and work' and 'social functioning'. Conclusions It is important for healthcare professionals to know the goals of their patients. The majority of these goals were not achieved at hospital discharge. It is important to be aware of this, so sufficient aftercare can be arranged and patients can be prepared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-775
Number of pages6
JournalInternal medicine journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May-2022


  • hospital
  • older people
  • shared decision-making
  • patient goal
  • patient-centred care
  • END

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