The purpose of this paper is to examine and explicate the concept of poor care by exploring what it is and what contributes to its occurrence in practice with a particular focus on the care of older people.
The results of systematically searched published literature were analysed using an inductive, descriptive, thematic approach as part of Rodgers’ evolutionary concept analysis method.
The concept of poor care is understood in the context of the antecedents of vulnerability, use of healthcare services and interaction with healthcare personnel. Its defining characteristics involve individual’s personal traits, interpersonal dynamics, an endangered self, misconceptions or organisational constraints.
Further research is needed to explore the recognition of poor care and reporting thresholds. In addition, the role of the “zone of tolerance” of expectations in the delivery and receipt of interpersonal care and attention for older people needs to be better understood.
Understanding the continuum and mapping the structures of poor care in contemporary UK healthcare practice can help sensitise practitioners to the widespread range and potential for instances of poor care. This concept analysis uniquely demonstrates consequences not only for the patient but also for healthcare staff and other individuals.
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