Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Khairulnissa Ajani


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Older adult’s patient care presents multiple challenges to nurses due to their growing numbers worldwide. According to WHO in 2020 the number of older adults aged 60 and above is one billion and by 2050 this population will be doubled. The current geriatric population of Pakistan is above eight million and is estimated to reach twenty-seven million by 2050. This increasing trend of the geriatric population poses a greater challenge to the compromised healthcare systems in Pakistan, healthcare workers especially nurses struggle hard due to limited resources, lack of knowledge regarding geriatric, and the frailty of older patients, to cater to their needs and care. Therefore, nurses face multiple barriers due to the growing demand for care in the older adult population, which need to be explored and addressed to cater to and improve the quality of care of geriatric populations.
Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore the perceptions of nurses working in inpatient tertiary care hospital regarding geriatric care and to explore the challenges faced by nurses in taking care of the older adult patients admitted in tertiary care hospital.
Methods: In this study, an exploratory qualitative study design was used. Semi-structured interviews of 13 nurses working in Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi were conducted through purposive sampling. Data was analyzed through a content analysis approach following the steps of Graneheim and Lundman (2004). Rigor was ensured through Lincoln and Guba’s (1985) criteria: of dependability, credibility, transferability, and confirmability.
Result: Four themes emerged from the content analysis (i) perception regarding geriatric care, (ii) enabling factors in geriatric care, (iii) challenges in geriatric care, and (IV) recommendations for better care. The findings of this study revealed that nurses perceive geriatric care as a specialty that requires comprehensive care to cater to the complex nature of geriatric patients. It also perceived elderly care as an emotionally rewarding experience due to the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment nurses get in the reward of caring for elderly patients. Moreover, it explores the factors that facilitate geriatric care are blessings, kindness appreciations, involvement of the family person in care, and help from the healthcare professional team. While, the challenges faced by nurses that hinder geriatric care are comorbidities, high dependency, non-compliance to the medical regime, communication gap, and lack of specialized education in geriatrics. To cater to these challenges and to improve the care, geriatric specialty, better infrastructure including separate wards for geriatric with proper staffing ratio for the elderly was recommended.
Conclusion: This study explores the perceptions of nurses regarding geriatric care, enabling factors, and challenges in the nursing care of older adult patients. These findings assisted in highlighting some important consideration for healthcare leaders and managements to address nurse’s challenges to overcome with effective care of admitted geriatric patients.