Relatives' experiences of everyday life six months after hypothermia treatment of a significant other's cardiac arrest
2013 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 22, no 11-12, 1639-1646 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
To describe relatives' experiences of needing support and information and of the impact on everyday life six months after a significant other survived cardiac arrest treated with therapeutic hypothermia at an intensive care unit.
Being the relative of a cardiac arrest patient has been described as an unexpected chaotic situation. It is a unique experience because the event was unexpected, but also because of the heart disease and the uncertain neurological impact and outcome.
The design of the study was qualitative.
Interviews with 20 relatives were conducted six months after a significant other's cardiac arrest. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Three main themes were identified: 'Difficulties managing a changed life situation', 'Feeling like I come second' and 'Feeling new hope for the future'. The most common support to relatives came from family and friends, but relatives felt abandoned by healthcare personnel when the significant other was discharged from the intensive care unit and hospital. Relatives lacked information concerning prognosis, rehabilitation and follow-up. They wished to meet others in the same situation and share experiences. Relatives also felt people around them did not understand their situation.
Everyday life was still affected six months after the event, involving increased domestic responsibilities, restrictions in social life and constant concern for the person stricken by cardiac arrest.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:
The study shows that healthcare personnel need to improve provision of support and information and provide follow-up appointments for relatives to clarify prognosis and rehabilitation issues.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 22, no 11-12, 1639-1646 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-199848DOI: 10.1111/jocn.12112ISI: 000317614300017PubMedID: 23444838OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-199848DiVA: diva2:621756