Acute care planning in emergency departments

Patients suffering from acute illness often feel uncertainty and anxiety about the consequences of the illness in both the immediate future as well as in the long term. This counts for both the patient, but also for his/her relatives. An increasing number of patients are sent home from the Danish emergency departments after very few hours for treatment in their own home or without the need for a follow-up. Recent studies show that 25% of patients and relatives consider the stay at the emergency departments fragmented and characterised by efficiency. This may leave them with a lot of questions after being sent home. This applies for both a Danish and an international context.


The PhD project has the overall aim to find out if patient care under 24 hours can be improved.

The project has three phases with the following aims:

  1. Study the patients’ and relatives’ experiences with the short course and make out which needs they wish to have fulfilled. This is done by felt observations in the department and individualistic interviews with patients and relatives. Furthermore, nurses’ and doctors’ perspective will be touched upon in the focus group interviews. The phase is ended in December 2020.
  2. By having innovative workshops with the users (patients, relatives, nurses, doctors et al.) there will, on a basis of data from phase 1, be worked on designing and developing an intervention. The intervention is to support the needs described by patients, relatives and health staff.
  3. Test the intervention. A suitable method will be chosen, when the intervention is established.

Data is collected in the Emergency Department at Odense University Hospital and the Emergency Department at Lillebaelt Hospital, Kolding.


Start: February 1 2020
End: May 31 2023


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Christina Østervang

Christina Østervang

PhD student | (+45) 2175 7009 | [email protected]