Research has shown that people aged 65+ who have two or more long-term health conditions (multimorbidity) can experience problems when communicating with healthcare staff. These problems can lead to patients feeling uncertain about issues relating to their health and healthcare, and to staff not understanding patients’ needs and concerns. Sometimes, this can compromise patient safety.
In-depth interview study
We wanted to develop a better understanding of how people aged 65+ who have two or more long-term health conditions communicate with healthcare staff, the problems they face in doing so, and how these can be overcome. We interviewed:
- 28 people aged 65+ who have two or more long-term health conditions
- 18 staff (clinical and administrative) working in UK General Practices
Initial results from this study have been shared at three UK conferences.
We then used our understanding to design materials (booklets and videos) for patients and General Practices. Through a series of workshops, we collaborated with patients, carers, staff and other experts to decide what the guidance materials should include.
The patient booklet “How to get the most out of your General Practice”, contains information and guidance to help people aged 65+ who have two or more long-term health conditions talk to and be heard by staff.
Cognitive interview study
We then wanted to know if the guidance materials made sense and if people would be happy to use them. We showed the patient booklet to 15 people aged 65+ who have two or more long-term health conditions (multimorbidity), and asked them to think-aloud as they read through it. Based on the feedback we received, we made changes to the design, layout, content and wording of the booklet.
Feasibility study and process evaluation
We now want to know if we can recruit people to take part in a study of these guidance materials and, if so, to what extent people use these materials and find them useful. We have recruited five General Practices from the North of England to help us with this study.