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Patients’ perspective on self-administration during hospitalisation - a qualitative pilot study

Trine Engholm Mahler, Charlotte Arp Sørensen, Trine Graabæk


Background, aims and objectives: Many patients have a desire to have more influence on their course of treatment. The Danish Healthcare System is under development with a focus on patient involvement. Self-administration is a very important part of the whole concept of patient involvement. This pilot study aimed to investigate Danish patients’ attitudes towards and experience of the concept of self-administration during hospitalisation

Method: A qualitative design with semi-structured, one-to-one interviews was used. Data were collected by one author (TEM) from March 2018 to April 2018. Included patients were all part of the intervention group from a randomised controlled trial. These patients were self-administrating their own medicine during hospitalisation.

Results: In total, 8 patients agreed to be interviewed. One patient withdrew his consent during the interview, resulting in 7 interviews for analysis. No patients declined to participate. Interviews were, on average, 22 minutes in duration. From the analysed data, 3 major themes emerged: “Self-management = self-administration?”, “Ready, set, self-administration” and “Once self-administration, always self-administration?”

Conclusion: This pilot study indicates that the patients have a very positive attitude towards and experience of self-administration during hospitalisation, as self-administration allowed them to regain control of their medicine and gave them a sense of independence and safety. All patients would prefer to be self-administering their own medicine rather than handing over the responsibility to the nurse in a future hospitalisation, due to the positive experience it has given them. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings.


Cultural barriers, hospitalization, medication errors, medicines management, patient autonomy, patient independence, patient perspective, patient safety, patient satisfaction, person-centered healthcare, qualitative, self-administration, self-care, self-m

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