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Perceptions and experiences of nutritional care following the overwhelming experience of lower extremity amputation; a qualitative study

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INTRODUCTION: Good nutritional care of people following major lower extremity amputation is essential as poor nutritional status can lead to delayed wound healing. Working with patients to identify their perspectives on food, views on nutritional care and the need for dietary counselling enables the development of optimised nutritional care.

AIM: To explore hospital patients' perspectives on food, dietary counselling, and their experiences of nutritional care following lower extremity amputation.

DESIGN: A qualitative, explorative study design was employed.

METHOD: An inductive content analysis of semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 17 people over 50 years of age, who had recently undergone major lower extremity amputation, was undertaken. The study was reported according to the COREQ guideline.

FINDINGS: Three themes emerged; Responsible for own dietary intake, Diet based on preferences and experiences with dietary counselling and Feeling overwhelmed. The participants expressed motivation to ensure their nutritional needs were met but described feeling emotionally overwhelmed by the experience of amputation. They appeared not to expect nursing staff to focus on nutritional issues as they expressed belief that they themselves were solely responsible for their dietary intake. They described being motivated to receive nutritional counselling but indicated advice should be compatible with their lifestyle and eating habits.

CONCLUSION: Lower extremity amputation can be an overwhelming experience which affects nutritional intake. People appear to consider themselves responsible for their nutritional care and describe not experiencing or expecting nursing staff to engage in this aspect of care. Dietary counselling by nurses who respects and incorporates patient preferences and experiences following amputation has the potential to enhance nutritional care.

CLINICAL IMPLICATION: This study illustrates that nurses caring for people who undergo lower extremity amputation need to recognise that nutritional care is an essential component of nursing and should focus on working in partnership with the patient. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

TidsskriftJournal of Clinical Nursing
Udgave nummer5-6
Sider (fra-til)e808-e819
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2018

ID: 52090565