Assessment of Patients' Comprehension of Discharge Instructions and Associated Factors.

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    • Abstract:
      Aim of Study: To assess patients' comprehension of discharge instructions and to explore associated factors. Methods: Following a cross-sectional design, 300 patients aged above 14 years, who were admitted to Aseer Central Hospital, and were discharged to home, were included. A questionnaire was designed by researchers for data collection. It consisted of personal data and statements related to assessment of the patients' comprehension of discharge instructions. Results: Most participants were males (68.3%). Age of 26% was <30 years or 30-39 years (27%), while age of less than one-quarter of them (22.3%) was 40-49 years or >50 years (24.7%). Educational level of more than one-third was either secondary school (36.7%) or university education (37.7%), while 6.3% were illiterate. Most participants (85.7%) lived with their families, while 14.3% were living alone. More than half of patients (57%) did not know the side effects of their drugs, 13% of participants did not know about times of their medication intake, duration of treatment (16.7%), when to return to hospital (39.1%), or precautions after discharge (30.1%). About one-third of patients (33.7%) had poor comprehension regarding their discharge instructions, while 37.7% had moderate comprehension and 28.7% had good comprehension. More than three-quarters of patients felt satisfied about their understanding regarding discharge instructions, while 5.7% were not satisfied. About half of patients (47.7%) preferred verbal methods for having discharge instructions, 11.3% preferred written instructions, while 41% preferred both verbal and written methods. Knowledge levels were significantly lower among those aged >50 years (p=0.031). Illiterate patients had signifi- cantly lower comprehension about discharge instructions (p=0.021). Those who live with their families had significantly better knowledge than those who don't live alone (p=0.024). Their comprehension differed signifi- cantly according to their department (p=0.009), with best comprehension among those discharged from the Surgery Department, while the worst comprehension was observed among patients discharged from the Urology and Orthopedics Departments (63.6% and 48.1%, respectively). Conclusions: About one-third of patients have poor comprehension regarding their discharge instructions. Verbal methods for discharge instructions are preferred by about half of patients, while 41% prefer both verbal and written methods. Patients' poor comprehension is significantly associated with patients' illiteracy, older age (>50 years) and social isolation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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