Non-spouse companions accompanying older adults to medical visits: A qualitative analysis

Orla Sheehan, Anita L. Graham-Phillips, John D. Wilson, Deidra Crews, Cheryl L. Holt, Jennifer Gabbard, Katherine Smith, Jennifer Wolff, David L Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Medical Visit Companions (MVCs) are encouraged for older adults' routine medical encounters. Little data exist on the experiences and contributions of non-spouse companions for the growing population of older adults without a living spouse. Methods: We conducted six focus groups with forty non-spouse MVCs identified through churches in Baltimore, Maryland. Thematic analysis was used to identify key issues before the visit, during the visit itself, after the visit, and in the overall companion experience. Results: MVCs described their experiences positively but also highlighted many challenges related to the role that extended far beyond the visit itself. These included scheduling, transportation, communication, and coordination of care expectations. Conclusion: Our increasingly complex healthcare system can be challenging for older adults to navigate successfully. The diverse nature of tasks performed by companions in this study highlight the many benefits of having a companion accompany older patients to medical visits. The positive experience of the companions studied and their willingness to continue their role in the future highlights the untapped potential for increased social facilitation to improve the quality of healthcare visits and achieve patient-centered care for all older patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019

Fingerprint

Social Facilitation
Patient-Centered Care
Baltimore
Quality of Health Care
Focus Groups
Spouses
Communication
Delivery of Health Care
Population

Keywords

  • Family caregiver
  • Medical visit companion
  • Older persons
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Non-spouse companions accompanying older adults to medical visits : A qualitative analysis. / Sheehan, Orla; Graham-Phillips, Anita L.; Wilson, John D.; Crews, Deidra; Holt, Cheryl L.; Gabbard, Jennifer; Smith, Katherine; Wolff, Jennifer; Roth, David L.

In: BMC Geriatrics, Vol. 19, No. 1, 84, 15.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{603e2c4d9c434077860ad673045047b8,
title = "Non-spouse companions accompanying older adults to medical visits: A qualitative analysis",
abstract = "Background: Medical Visit Companions (MVCs) are encouraged for older adults' routine medical encounters. Little data exist on the experiences and contributions of non-spouse companions for the growing population of older adults without a living spouse. Methods: We conducted six focus groups with forty non-spouse MVCs identified through churches in Baltimore, Maryland. Thematic analysis was used to identify key issues before the visit, during the visit itself, after the visit, and in the overall companion experience. Results: MVCs described their experiences positively but also highlighted many challenges related to the role that extended far beyond the visit itself. These included scheduling, transportation, communication, and coordination of care expectations. Conclusion: Our increasingly complex healthcare system can be challenging for older adults to navigate successfully. The diverse nature of tasks performed by companions in this study highlight the many benefits of having a companion accompany older patients to medical visits. The positive experience of the companions studied and their willingness to continue their role in the future highlights the untapped potential for increased social facilitation to improve the quality of healthcare visits and achieve patient-centered care for all older patients.",
keywords = "Family caregiver, Medical visit companion, Older persons, Qualitative research",
author = "Orla Sheehan and Graham-Phillips, {Anita L.} and Wilson, {John D.} and Deidra Crews and Holt, {Cheryl L.} and Jennifer Gabbard and Katherine Smith and Jennifer Wolff and Roth, {David L}",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1186/s12877-019-1098-y",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
journal = "BMC Geriatrics",
issn = "1471-2318",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Non-spouse companions accompanying older adults to medical visits

T2 - A qualitative analysis

AU - Sheehan, Orla

AU - Graham-Phillips, Anita L.

AU - Wilson, John D.

AU - Crews, Deidra

AU - Holt, Cheryl L.

AU - Gabbard, Jennifer

AU - Smith, Katherine

AU - Wolff, Jennifer

AU - Roth, David L

PY - 2019/3/15

Y1 - 2019/3/15

N2 - Background: Medical Visit Companions (MVCs) are encouraged for older adults' routine medical encounters. Little data exist on the experiences and contributions of non-spouse companions for the growing population of older adults without a living spouse. Methods: We conducted six focus groups with forty non-spouse MVCs identified through churches in Baltimore, Maryland. Thematic analysis was used to identify key issues before the visit, during the visit itself, after the visit, and in the overall companion experience. Results: MVCs described their experiences positively but also highlighted many challenges related to the role that extended far beyond the visit itself. These included scheduling, transportation, communication, and coordination of care expectations. Conclusion: Our increasingly complex healthcare system can be challenging for older adults to navigate successfully. The diverse nature of tasks performed by companions in this study highlight the many benefits of having a companion accompany older patients to medical visits. The positive experience of the companions studied and their willingness to continue their role in the future highlights the untapped potential for increased social facilitation to improve the quality of healthcare visits and achieve patient-centered care for all older patients.

AB - Background: Medical Visit Companions (MVCs) are encouraged for older adults' routine medical encounters. Little data exist on the experiences and contributions of non-spouse companions for the growing population of older adults without a living spouse. Methods: We conducted six focus groups with forty non-spouse MVCs identified through churches in Baltimore, Maryland. Thematic analysis was used to identify key issues before the visit, during the visit itself, after the visit, and in the overall companion experience. Results: MVCs described their experiences positively but also highlighted many challenges related to the role that extended far beyond the visit itself. These included scheduling, transportation, communication, and coordination of care expectations. Conclusion: Our increasingly complex healthcare system can be challenging for older adults to navigate successfully. The diverse nature of tasks performed by companions in this study highlight the many benefits of having a companion accompany older patients to medical visits. The positive experience of the companions studied and their willingness to continue their role in the future highlights the untapped potential for increased social facilitation to improve the quality of healthcare visits and achieve patient-centered care for all older patients.

KW - Family caregiver

KW - Medical visit companion

KW - Older persons

KW - Qualitative research

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062985095&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85062985095&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12877-019-1098-y

DO - 10.1186/s12877-019-1098-y

M3 - Article

C2 - 30876388

AN - SCOPUS:85062985095

VL - 19

JO - BMC Geriatrics

JF - BMC Geriatrics

SN - 1471-2318

IS - 1

M1 - 84

ER -