Quantitative studies are a valuable source of evidence for a practitioner’s decision-making because the statistical results and conclusions based on the calculated data are perceived as objective and reliable. The issue is the increasing number of skipped follow-up appointments among the impoverished population representatives of a practicum site. The article “Effect of single follow-up home visit on readmission in a group of frail elderly patients–a Danish randomized clinical trial” by Lembeck et al. studied how follow-up influenced the quality of treatment. The study is related to a doctor’s visit rather than a patient’s; however, it provided statistical evidence about the importance of such appointments (Lembeck et al., 2019). This paper aims to appraise the selected article and discuss its potential application for future practice.
Quantitative studies require researchers to collect a massive volume of data such as patient records, and analyze, compare, or calculate them to prove or deny a stated hypothesis. The purpose of the selected article was to explore the effect of discharge planning and follow-up visits for frail elderly patients to offer a foundation for financial optimization of the healthcare industry (Lembeck et al., 2019). The study was conducted based on the large hospital of Denmark where the populations from rural areas were treated with the diagnoses that required the 30-day follow-up to prevent hospital readmissions.
Research design determines the possibility of receiving the desired outcome and identifies the scope of information necessary to retrieve. Lembeck et al. (2019) state that the study was a “1:1 parallel-group individual patient randomized controlled trial stratified by municipality and discharging hospital department followed for 180 days” (p. 3). The research was conducted in a medical center that served more than 150 thousand citizens from impoverished areas with large elderly populations. The selected design was beneficial for such a study as all biases and side factors were eliminated. Researchers set people aged 65 and older discharged from the hospital from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014 as a sample, 1049 participants in total (Lembeck et al., 2019). However, the population must have narrow characteristics to make the study results precise (Stratton, 2021). Thus, the article also contained the medical and social conditions required for selecting a participant, such as lack of social network, low income, and difficulties in functioning.
Data collection methods were diverse in the selected study because multiple variables had to be retrieved and analyzed. Patient information was gathered through their records and structured assessment, and the quality of follow-ups was calculated as the proportion of people in need and the mean number of daily minutes of services (Lembeck et al., 2019). The findings indicated that follow-up is necessary to prevent hospital readmission among the elderly impoverished inhabitants of Danish rural areas. The study concluded that intensive intervention is essential to support frail elderly patients as 56% of intervention and 54% of control groups had to be hospitalized within 180 days of discharge (Lembeck et al., 2019).
The research strengths were the randomization which made the evidence highly reliable, and the similarity of sample characteristics in control and intervention groups. The limitation was that the patients and practitioners were not blinded to the study’s activities (Lembeck et al., 2019). Furthermore, patients’ different discharge dates, age and health conditions, and risks of unrelated chronic diseases’ development could also influence the results (Theofanidis & Fountouki, 2018). The study is appropriate for addressing the issue of the impoverished population that skips the follow-up visits because the results can be used as evidence to promote quality improvement in a practicum site (George et al., 2018). Furthermore, a similar research design can be applied to the local beneficiaries to identify if missed appointments influence the risk of readmission.
Scholarly articles that discuss how the follow-up visits influence hospital readmission for specific populations are valuable for developing workable prevention strategies and enhancing patient outcomes. The selected study submitted that the post-discharge appointments are crucial and provided evidence that people in difficult life conditions require additional support from a hospital. The research design and sampling are appropriate for quality improvement initiatives in diverse healthcare organizations.
George, S., Daniels, K., & Fioratou, E. (2018). A qualitative study into the perceived barriers of accessing healthcare among a vulnerable population involved with a community center in Romania. International Journal For Equity In Health, 17(1), 1-13. Web.
Lembeck, M. A., Thygesen, L. C., Sørensen, B. D., Rasmussen, L. L., & Holm, E. A. (2019). Effect of single follow-up home visit on readmission in a group of frail elderly patients–a Danish randomized clinical trial. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 1-10. Web.
Stratton, S. J. (2021). Population research: Convenience sampling strategies. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 36(4), 373-374. Web.
Theofanidis, D., & Fountouki, A. (2018). Limitations and delimitations in the research process. Perioperative Nursing, 7(3), 155-163. Web.