Aim: To report on an analysis on the concept of 'readiness for hospital discharge'.
Background: No uniform operational definition of 'readiness for hospital discharge' exists in the literature; therefore, a concept analysis is required to clarify the concept and identify an up-to-date understanding of readiness for hospital discharge. Clarity of the concept will identify all uses of the concept; provide conceptual clarity, an operational definition and direction for further research.
Design: Literature review and concept analysis.
Method: A review of literature was conducted in 2016. Databases searched were: Academic Search Complete, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, PsycARTICLES, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, PsycINFO, Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson) and SocINDEX with Full Text. No date limits were applied.
Results: Identification of the attributes, antecedents and consequences of readiness for hospital discharge led to an operational definition of the concept. The following attributes belonging to 'readiness for hospital discharge' were extracted from the literature: physical stability, adequate support, psychological ability, and adequate information and knowledge.
Conclusion: This analysis contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the area of hospital discharge, by proposing an operational definition of readiness for hospital discharge, derived from the literature. A better understanding of the phenomenon will assist healthcare professionals to recognize, measure and implement interventions where necessary, to ensure patients are ready for hospital discharge and assist in the advancement of knowledge for all professionals involved in patient discharge from hospital.