This article discusses How Age of Patient Influences their Perceptions on Healthcare Delivery.

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How Age of Patient Influences their Perceptions on Healthcare Delivery

Researchers have examined the various stages of life and their effects on the social, physical and cognitive development of an individual. The stages include prenatal development and the newborn; infancy and childhood; adolescence and adulthood (DeVoe, Wallace, & Fryer, 2009). Different stages of life present unique health care needs for an individual. This implies that the healthcare needs of an infant vary greatly from that of elderly persons due to variation in their physical, social and cognitive development. Empirical studies indicate that age of patients influences their perceptions towards healthcare delivery, including the professionals providing care.

Clinical studies indicate that patients have various expectations from health institutions and clinicians. Some of the expectations include provision of quality healthcare services, clear communication and interpersonal skills from the healthcare professionals in addition to privacy and confidentiality of patient information (Deeks, Lombard, Michelmore & Teede, 2009; Tabler, Scammon, Kim, Farrle & Andrada, 2014).   These factors form the basis of patient-health professional relationship, which determines the extent at which the patient health outcomes are achieved. This paper explores how age of patient influences their perceptions on healthcare delivery, by interviewing a 75 year old woman about her experience with the healthcare system.

The first question inquired if the patient felt her stage of life influenced their interactions with the healthcare professionals.   In her response, the patient observed that as an elderly person, she has observed differences on how clinicians interact with her as she transitioned from childhood to adulthood.  In her admission, she confessed that at 75 year old, she felt that clinicians considered her incapable of taking care of her health needs independently. In particular, she found it annoying that healthcare professionals kept on insisting and repeating on the various approaches of maintaining her health in old age. She however admitted that majority of healthcare professionals were gentle and kind to her, which enhanced development of pleasant therapeutic relationship.

The areas of the hospital she felt  were most concerned with her wellbeing were those involved in screening her physical wellbeing, including checking for blood sugar level , high blood pressure  and falls. While undergoing the assessments, the attending healthcare professionals demonstrated high levels of patience, professionalism and care, by asking her questions, keeping eye contact and by being gentle while handling her.  These attributes made her feel wanted and cared for.

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How age of patient influences their perceptions on healthcare delivery
How Age of Patient Influences their Perceptions on Healthcare Delivery

The patient considers her husband as a key pillar of her health and wellbeing. In this regard, the spouse accompanies her to hospital appointments. According to the patient, the spouse provides immense moral support and helps her comply with health professionals’ advice, including taking medications and observing healthy lifestyle and eating habits. She also confided  that her spouses presence during hospital visits  enables the healthcare professionals to provide better healthcare services to her, as the spouses is able to provide more in-depth information  about her health state to the attending clinicians.

The final question asked whether her family was included in her treatment, including post procedure instruction. In her response, the patient confided that her spouse is fully involved in her treatment process including participating in patient education. The involvement of her spouses in her treatment process helps greatly in helping her improve on her health outcomes in various ways. This includes reminding her take prescribed medications on schedule and participating in self-monitoring of her blood pressure and sugar level.

References

Deeks, A.,  Lombard, C.,  Michelmore, J., &  Teede, H.(2009). The effects of gender and age on health related behaviors. BMC Public Health, 9: 213-218.

DeVoe, J.,  Wallace, L., &  Fryer, G.(2009). Patient age influences perceptions about health care   communication. Family Medicine, 41(2): 126-133.

Tabler, J., Scammon, D.,  Kim, J.,  Farrle, T., & Andrada, T.(2014). Patient care experiences and  perceptions of the patient-provider relationship: A mixed method study. Patient     Experience Journal, 1(13): 75-87.

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