Implementation of a gerontology nurse specialist role in primary health care: Health professional and older adult perspectives

Anna King, Michal Boyd, Lynelle Dagley, Deborah.L Raphael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims and objectives; To explore an innovative primary healthcare gerontology nurse specialist role from the perspectives of older people and health professionals.
Background: Primary care is struggling to meet the needs and demands of complex older people. New models which incorporate holistic assessment and care coordination are necessary.
Design: A qualitative descriptive general inductive design was used.
Methods: Older people at risk of health and functional decline were identified and received a comprehensive gerontology assessment and care coordination. Older adults (75 years+) enrolled within one of three primary healthcare practices in Auckland, New Zealand were eligible. Healthcare professionals directly involved with the primary healthcare gerontology nurse specialist model were invited for study participation. Face‐to‐face interviews were held with five older people and six health professionals were interviewed by telephone. A semistructured interview guide was used for all interviews. A general inductive approach was undertaken for analysis to systematically identify codes and themes.
Results: Data analysis revealed two central themes from the older people perspective: “holistic expertise” and “communication.” Two main themes were identified from the health professional perspective: “competency” and “service delivery.” Results showed the gerontology nurse specialist role was highly regarded by both older people and the health professionals. The in‐home comprehensive geriatric assessment was identified as greatly beneficial.
Conclusions: The competence and care coordination of the gerontology nurse specialist reduced fragmentation and were deemed immensely valuable. Care coordination should be recognised as a key component to meeting the complex needs of at‐risk older people in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-818
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume27
Issue number3-4
Early online dateOct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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