DOI: 10.1177/00469580241236038 ISSN: 0046-9580

Defining Vision and Mission of a Medical Psychiatry Unit (MPU) for Older Adults: A Focus Group Study

Laura Tops, Kristien Coteur, Mieke Vermandere
  • Health Policy

This study aims to determine the vision and mission of an academic hospital’s medical psychiatry unit (MPU) that exclusively treats geriatric patients. All healthcare providers working at an academic hospital’s geriatric MPU were invited to reflect on formulate the vision and mission of this ward. Twenty-two of them took part in the focus group interviews. The interviews focused on defining the MPU’s functioning, its objectives, how it will reach these objectives, and where the MPU aspires to go. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed according to the QUAGOL guide. The themes from the analysis emerged from these group discussions. The participants defined the MPU’s vision as to excel in integrated mental and physical geriatric inpatient healthcare, inspiring others to shed the stigma related to this vulnerable patient population. The mission that emerged from the focus group discussions is to provide patient-centered, integrated healthcare for older adults with combined mental and physical disorders. To achieve this, involving the patient’s network, interdisciplinarity, shared decision-making, clear communication between all stakeholders, and reintegration of patients into their communities emerged as important themes. This study provides a vision and mission of a geriatric MPU in an academic psychiatric hospital. Since there is no consensus in the literature about the characteristics of MPUs despite the international call for integrated care for older persons with combined mental and physical disorders, these vision and mission statements can feed the discussion on how to install excellent healthcare for this vulnerable patient population.

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