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Transitional care: Concept analysis using Rodgers’ evolutionary approach

Background: The process of moving patients from a hospital to a home or another care setting, also called transitional care, can lead to unwanted complications and negative outcomes. The term “transitional care” involves a wide range of conditions and services to ensure the continuity of care and prevention of unwanted consequences in vulnerable individuals, who are affected by any changes in care settings or caregivers. Objectives: The purpose of this concept analysis is to clarify the concept of transitional care by considering its application in different studies and its changes over time. Design: A concept analysis. Data sources: Literature from 2008 to 2018 were sought using Medline, PubMed, Google Scholar and Cochrane databases with terms "transitional care", “transitional care” OR "care transitions", “transitional care” AND "nursing", “transitional care” AND "discharge planning”. Review methods: Rodgers' evolutionary concept analysis method was used to clarify the antecedents, attributes and consequences. Results: The 46 eligible articles were fully studied and findings were categorized into antecedents, attributes and consequences. Transitional care antecedents were classified into three categories: patient/family/caregivers related factors, factors related to hospital system (inpatient care), and social factors. The defining attributes include patient-oriented transitional care, transitional care with a hospital-based approach and transitional care with a community-based approach. Consequences categorized into patient-related consequences, family/caregiver-related consequences, and hospital-related consequences. Conclusion: The results of the analysis of the transitional care concept have shown that this concept is not limited to care provided by nurses at discharge, and that its proper implementation requires considering many factors including the status of patients and their families, different members of the healthcare team, and environmental and social conditions and facilities. A proper understanding of transitional care not only specifies the role of care providers, but also creates a basis for designing an evidence based care program. 

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International Journal of Nursing Studies
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