Exploring registered health professionals' assessment of older adults in care facilities : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University, Turitea Campus, Palmerston North, New Zealand /
Older adults in care facilities are increasingly frail, with a number of co-existing conditions and complex health care needs. Before entry into a care facility, and while they are residing in a care facility, older adults are assessed by health professionals from different disciplines. The aim of this research is to gain insight into registered health professionals'
1 Registered health professionals: For this research, the term 'Registered health professionals' includes Dietitians, Diversional Therapists, General Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Registered Nurses and Social Workers, who are employed or contracted by a care facility.
understanding of assessment of older adults in care facilities and how these assessments are utilised by Registered Nurses to create a plan for care. Assessment is an integral part of clinical practice for health professionals. Health professionals assess older adults to plan and deliver care, to instruct others about the care to be provided to the older adult, and to meet contract and audit requirements. For this pilot project, fourteen health professionals who perform assessments of older adults in care facilities participated in this research. Participants were approached via their place of employment. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and analysed by Thematic Content Analysis. The following theme was clearly identified in this research: ▪ Fragmentation of the assessment and care planning process, with sub-themes related to ▪ human resource issues ▪ the focus on physical aspects by contracted health professionals ▪ the single-discipline approach to care planning ▪ the lack of formal information sharing