Disabled patients in acute hospital wards: the limitations of role theory for understanding the problems of patients and nurses
Atkinson, F. Ian
MetadataShow full item record
This study explores the care provided for physically disabled people who are admitted to acute hospital wards for the treatment of short -term illness. Two groups of 75 disabled and 75 non - disabled patients were recruited for the study on a matched pair basis, and a survey of 205 nurses was undertaken. The study involved an assessment of how well disabled patients could manage eight activities of daily life at home and in hospital. The experiences of disabled and non -disabled patients in acute hospital wards were compared by assessing patient satisfaction with six different aspects of care. The views of nurses about caring for disabled patients in acute hospital wards, their experience and training in the care of disabled patients are also explored.The study demonstrates no difference in the levels of satis- faction with care experienced by disabled and non- disabled patients. Patient satisfaction with all aspects of care was found to be associated with satisfaction with the communication of information, a factor shown to be equally important for both disabled and non -disabled patients.It was hoped that the theory of social roles would provide a theoretical framework for understanding the position of the disabled patient on an acute hospital ward. However, in the event, role theory proved not to be entirely adequate for this purpose. An alternative model is developed which takes into account the attitudes and experiences of nurses as well as the experiences of disabled patients on acute hospital wards. This is used to suggest ways in which improvements could be made in the care of disabled patients.