Healthcare professionals in primary care often find it hard to provide the best possible care to frail elderly patients because they often have multiple health problems. There is not much research showing what treatments do or do not work for frail elderly persons. In addition, it can be hard to communicate with older patients. For these reasons, healthcare professionals are encouraged to explain the available treatment options, so that their elderly patients and caregivers can choose what is best for them. They are also encouraged to be attentive to their preferences so as to guide them in decision-making.
In this research program, I will develop training programs to help healthcare professionals in their discussions with elderly patients and their caregivers. I will also develop simple, easily understandable information materials, to promote discussion among health professionals, elderly patients and their caregivers. Furthermore, my research program will assess these innovative practices to ensure their impact on the quality of discussions between healthcare professionals and their patients. Through this program, I aim to improve the training of our healthcare providers to enhance the trusted doctor-patient relationship which is an essential component of the overall health of elderly patient.