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The experiences, needs and expectations of patients regarding participation at home: an explorative study in Belgium

02 November 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 11



Patients have an important role in the improvement of their health. Patient participation is a key component to achieving this. Some form of patient participation is already present in home care, but this needs to be optimised.


Gaining insight into the expectations, experiences and needs of patients regarding patient participation in home care.


A qualitative design was used.


The study was conducted in the Flemish part of Belgium, in a purposeful sample of patients who have already received nursing care at home for at least 6 weeks.


Semi-structured face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted and analysed using the Qualitative Analyse Guide of Leuven.


Patient participation in home care is a dynamic process. A total of six components, which interact with each other, were identified that explain this process.


Patient participation in home care is the interaction of different components of a whole mechanism. Within this mechanism, home nurses play a key role to facilitate participation for patients.

The aging population, alongside the increasing number of individuals with chronic diseases, multimorbidity and the desire to stay at home as long as possible, has resulted in a growing demand for complex home care and has been posing challenges for home care services (Vik and Eide, 2012; Paukkonen et al, 2018). The increasing importance on self-care, partly determined by budgetary constraints and pressure on healthcare, in general, has resulted in a shift from the hierarchical and paternalistic models, to partnership and a more patient-centred care (Longtin et al, 2010; Alvarez et al, 2016; Ortiz, 2018). Patients have an important role to play in the management of their healthcare, in order to achieve optimal health outcomes (Alvarez et al, 2016). Patient participation is a key component to achieving this.

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