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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital
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Patients' experiences of postoperative intermediate care and standard surgical ward care after emergency abdominal surgery: a qualitative sub-study of the Incare trial

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To elicit knowledge of patient experiences of postoperative intermediate care in an intensive care unit and standard postoperative care in a surgical ward after emergency abdominal surgery.

BACKGROUND: Emergency abdominal surgery is common, but little is known about how patients experience postoperative care. The patient population is generally older with multiple comorbidities, and the short-term postoperative mortality rate is 15-20%. Thus, vigilant surgeon and nursing attention is essential. The present study is a qualitative sub-study of a randomised trial evaluating postoperative intermediate care after emergency abdominal surgery, the InCare trial.

DESIGN: A qualitative study with individual semi-structured interviews.

METHODS: We analysed interviews using Systematic Text Condensation.

RESULTS: Eighteen patients (nine intervention/nine controls) were strategically sampled from the InCare trial. Data analysis resulted in three distinct descriptions of intermediate care; two of standard surgical ward care. Intermediate care was described as 'luxury service' or 'a life saver.' The latter description was prevalent among patients with a perceived complicated disease course. Intermediate care patients felt constrained by continuous monitoring of vital signs as they recovered from surgery. Standard surgical ward care was described as either 'ok - no more, no less' or 'suboptimal'. Experiencing suboptimal care was related to patient perceptions of heavy staff workloads, lack of staff availability and subsequent concerns about the quality of care.

CONCLUSION: Postoperative intermediate care enhanced perceptions of quality of care, specifically in patients with a perceived complicated disease course. Patients were eager to contribute actively to their recovery; however, intermediate care patients felt hindered in doing so by continuous monitoring of vital signs.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Intermediate care may increase patient perceptions of quality and safety of care.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Clinical Nursing
Vol/bind24
Udgave nummer9-10
Sider (fra-til)1280-1288
ISSN0962-1067
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 27 nov. 2015

ID: 44839448