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Family members of patients with severe burns: Experiences during care and rehabilitation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital.
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim was to explore experiences of care and rehabilitation in family members of patients with burns. Ten semi-structured interviews analyzed using qualitative content analysis resulted in seven categories related to the care: Feeling distress, Receiving excellent care, Being treated in an insensitive way, Reluctance towards giving care, Being the hub of the family network, Feeling hope, and Being thankful. Six categories were related to rehabilitation: Ambiguous feelings, Difficulties after discharge, Being forced to take responsibility, Handling the situation, Gaining support and Being thankful. Although there are positive experiences during care, family members experience the time in hospital and after discharge as distressful and could benefit from being cared for in a more individualized way. Improved communication between caregivers and the family member may be important. Family members need to be included in the planning of care and support offered at discharge could ease the burden on these individuals.

Keyword [en]
burns, experience, family members, nursing, recovery
National Category
Nursing Psychiatry Surgery
Research subject
Psychiatry; Caring Sciences in Medical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208624OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208624DiVA: diva2:653996
Available from: 2013-10-07 Created: 2013-10-06 Last updated: 2014-01-23
In thesis
1. Family Members of Patients with Burns: Experiences of a Distressful Episode
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Family Members of Patients with Burns: Experiences of a Distressful Episode
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A severe burn is a trauma associated with long lasting consequences, not only for the survivor but also for the family. Although it is recognized that family members are central in providing social support for the patients, previous research has not focused extensively on this group. The aims of this thesis were to increase knowledge about psychological symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in family members of patients with burns, as well as to explore their experiences of burn care and rehabilitation. The research questions were approached using quantitative and qualitative methods.

The results showed that most family members demonstrate normal to mild levels of psychological symptoms, while one third demonstrate moderate to severe symptoms during care. The symptoms decreased over time and could be predicted to a certain degree by early symptoms.

Further, family members’ report of HRQoL is similar to that of the general population. An improvement is seen over time and HRQoL could be predicted in part by earlier life events and psychological symptoms.

Family members’ experiences were explored in an interview study. Qualitative content analysis revealed that the time in hospital is stressful, although there were experiences of a positive character.  Family members might benefit from being cared for in a more individualized way. The communication between health care providers and the family members could be improved.

Finally, a qualitative content analysis revealed that family members’ experiences and views concerning support is highly individual. There were experiences of sufficient support as well as lack of professional support. Treatment of family members should be modified according to personal circumstances, and it is important to actively include family members in the care process, both before and after discharge.

In summary, being a family member of a burn survivor is a distressful experience, not only during care but in many cases also after discharge. The treatment of family members within burn care should be individualized. Some persons are more vulnerable than others and it might be possible to identify those in need of support while care is still ongoing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 56 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 935
Keyword
Critical care, Burns, Experiences, Health-related quality of life, Family members, Nursing, Support, Psychological symptoms
National Category
Nursing Surgery Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry; Caring Sciences in Medical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208626 (URN)978-91-554-8768-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-11-22, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-29 Created: 2013-10-06 Last updated: 2014-01-23

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