Experiences of Inter-Hospital Transfers (IHT) by Patients and Relatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic in France: A Qualitative Study - EHESP - École des hautes études en santé publique Access content directly
Journal Articles International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Year : 2023

Experiences of Inter-Hospital Transfers (IHT) by Patients and Relatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic in France: A Qualitative Study

Abstract

Background: The first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic led to a rapid and unexpected saturation of the French ICU, forcing the health care system to adapt. Among other emergency measures, inter-hospital transfers were carried out. Objective: To assess the psychological experience of patients and their relatives regarding inter-hospital transfers. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with transferred patients and their relatives. A phenomenological study design was used to examine subjective experiences and their meanings for the participants. Results: The analysis found nine axes pertaining to the experiences of IHT (inter-hospital transfers), grouped in three super-ordinate themes: Information about inter-hospital transfers, differences in patients’ and relatives’ experiences, and host hospital experience. It appears that patients felt little impacted by the transfers, unlike relatives who experienced intense anxiety when the transfer was announced. Good communications between patients and their relatives resulted in a good level of satisfaction regarding their host hospitals. COVID-19 and its somatic consequences seem to have had more psychological impact on the participants than the transfers by themselves. Conclusion: Our results suggest that there are limited current psychological consequences of the IHT implemented during the first wave of COVID-19, although the involvement of patients and their relatives in the organization of the IHT at the time of transfer could further limit them.
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Dates and versions

hal-04028855 , version 1 (14-03-2023)

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Nicolas Chauliac, Germain Salome, Juliette Cheucle, Lou Cochennec de Biase, Perrine Galia, et al.. Experiences of Inter-Hospital Transfers (IHT) by Patients and Relatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic in France: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2023, 20 (5), pp.4660. ⟨10.3390/ijerph20054660⟩. ⟨hal-04028855⟩
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