Disparities in transitional care training for caregivers of older adults based on race or financial status demonstrate need for changes in discharge processes and strategies to address bias.
Family caregivers are often involved in supporting older adults through posthospitalization care, when patients have higher risks for medical errors, communication gaps, and unplanned hospital readmissions. While caregiver training can improve care quality and patient outcomes, many family caregivers report feeling unprepared for posthospital transitions. This study examines how different groups of caregivers reported on adequate training experience for transitional care.
Nearly 60 percent of surveyed caregivers who assisted during posthospitalization care reported receiving adequate transitional care training. However, caregivers who reported financial difficulty, are Black, and/or provide care for a Black, female, or Medicaid-enrolled older adult were half as likely to receive adequate training. Structural racism and implicit biases may affect health care professionals’ evaluations of which caregivers need training and those that are likely to comply with training instructions, leading to disparities in training and potentially disparate health outcomes. This suggests a greater need to support family caregivers by providing formal, standardized assessment tools to better identify when caregiver training is necessary.
Disparities in caregiver training for care transitions based on race or financial status demonstrate the need for culturally relevant assessment tools to evaluate caregiver needs and strategies to address bias to support caregivers more effectively.