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BioMed Central (BMC)

Source Publication

Pilot and Feasibility Studies

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Discharge teaching by nurses during hospitalization is essential to provide multimorbid inpatients with the knowledge and skills to self-manage their health conditions. However, available disease-specific teaching guidelines do not address the cumulative complexity of multiple chronic diseases that occur with greater frequency in older adults. Therefore, there is a need for a discharge teaching intervention which uses concepts that specifically address the needs of these patients, such as considering their level of activation (i.e. knowledge, skills and confidence to self-manage their health) and the burden of multimorbid disease. The objectives of this pragmatic study will be to (1) test the feasibility of implementing a nursing discharge teaching intervention and (2) conduct a preliminary test of this novel discharge teaching intervention with adult inpatients age 50 or greater who have multiple comorbid conditions.


This study uses a two-group pre-posttest design. Participants are drawn from medical units in three hospitals in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The implementation of the intervention will be facilitated by implementation strategies from the Theoretical Domains Framework and the Behavior Change Wheel and will target change in nurses’ teaching behaviours. Implementation outcomes will include measures of feasibility of the implementation strategies and the intervention process. Participants in the intervention group will receive tailored discharge teaching by trained teaching nurses. Patient outcomes will inform the preliminary testing of the intervention and will be measured with validated questionnaires assessing patients’ activation level, health confidence, perceived readiness for discharge, experience with the discharge process and rate of and time to readmission.


The study takes a pragmatic approach to examining the feasibility of implementing the discharge teaching intervention to contribute to the knowledge development within the context of the real-world practice setting. Results will provide the foundation for clinical trials to build evidence for widespread adoption of this intervention.

Trial registration

The trial is registered at (ID: NCT04253665) on the 30 of January 2020 and has been approved by the Cantonal Ethics Committee Vaud in Switzerland (2020-00141).


Published version. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, Vol. 7 (March 17, 2021): Article number 71. DOI. © 2021 BioMed Central (BMC). Used with permission.

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