February 27, 2018

Hospital Transfers – Whānau Involvement in the healing equation

Hospital Transfers – Whānau Involvement in the healing equation

Whakauae Research Services, the University of Auckland and Waikato University have partnered to undertake research looking at hospital transfers for Māori. The project is funded through Ngā Pae o te Māramatangā and is titled: Hospital Transfers, whānau involvement in the healing equation. The project has four distinct phases.

1. Description:

Phase one is to gain a comprehensive understanding of patterns of hospital transfers and experiences of whānau who wish to stay actively engaged in care. Three pieces of work are currently being completed; Statistical Analysis, Whānau interviews and an Environmental Scan.

The statistical analysis is well underway with work undertaken by Dr Arama Rata (NIDEA) and Waikato University Biostatistician Ms Lyn Hunt. Utilising publicly available (e.g. from DHB reports), the analysis provides important information on specific patterns of Māori ‘away from home’ hospital care. The analysis will include hospital transfers and flows of patients between facilities and identify patterns in these flows for Māori at national and regional levels.

Twenty-two whānau interviews, focusing on the whānau experiences of hospital transfers and hospitalisations ‘away from home’ have been completed. Whānau recruitment occurred through researcher networks as well as the community “kumara vine”. The circulation of an artistically tailored poster caught the eye of many whānau.  Whānau replied by text highlighting their willingness to be involved in the project. Each interview has been transcribed, cleaned and summarised ready to be given back to participants. Participants will receive a summary on a template incorporating the art used in the recruitment poster. Analysis of interviews has commenced with the team coming together to undertake a mahi-a-roopu analysis (analysis as a team) in mid-August.

The environmental scan will assist the team to gain a deeper understanding of the current environment within which whānau who wish to remain actively engaged in care operate. The scan focuses on publicly available data on current policies, programmes or interventions associated with hospital transfers and hospitalisation ‘away from home’. We are just starting this phase of data collection.

2. Engagement:

This phase includes engagement of stakeholders, partnering activities (agreements, terms of reference) and progressing proposals for funding. Gaining stakeholder buy-in will assist the research team better understand how the hospital system and broader policy contexts facilitate or hinder active whānau involvement.  Current engagement has included: Waikato DHB clinicians; research-active clinicians at the University of Auckland; the Ministry of Health through the development of specifications for the National Minimum Data Set; and a range of experts who comprise the Health Experts Advisory Group.  A Terms of Reference document has been confirmed and engagement has been agreed with relevant parties. Proposals for additional funding are in progress. Two proposals for interns have been successful as well as proposals to attend and present at national and international conferences.

3. Uptake:

The uptake phase incorporates mapping and identifying strategies or environments that promote active whānau participation in care. It is a work in progress and reliant on data from the earlier phases.

4. Dissemination:

This phase involves discussion, debate and generating awareness of the impacts of hospital transfers on both sides of the healing equation by making sure research findings continue to be distributed through multiple forums.

Dissemination has occurred through different avenues. Research team members have presented at both local event (research symposiums, meetings and community hui) as well as at international fora such as the Race, Whiteness and Indigeneity International Conference on the Gold Coast, Australia; the International Indigenous Research Conference,  Auckland; and He Manawa Whenua, Waikato.

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