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Family members’ experiences of support during care and rehabilitation of patients with severe burns
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]

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore family members’ experiences of support during burn care and during the rehabilitation phase after hospital discharge.

Background: Family members are important in the recovery process of patients with severe burns; however, few previous studies have focused on how this group experiences and values support during care and rehabilitation.

Methods: Ten semi-structured interviews with family members of patients treated at the national burn centres were recorded digitally, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using content analysis. The informants were included nationwide, most were females, and different socioeconomic groups were represented.

Results: Categories related to experiences during care were: Nonsupport, Professional support, Support from family and friends, A wish for support, and That little something extra. Categories related to experiences during rehabilitation were: Nonsupport, Professional support, Support from family and friends, Support from the injured person and Religion. Support from other family members and friends was generally considered the most important source of support, and there was a wish for more proactive support from care professionals.

Conclusion: The experience of support is individual, which makes supporting family members a complex task. Individualized treatment of family members and their inclusion in the care process are of central importance, as is identifying specific needs for support both during the time in hospital and during rehabilitation. It is important to be proactive and offer support.

Keyword [en]
burns, experience, family members, nursing, recovery, support
National Category
Nursing Surgery Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry; Caring Sciences in Medical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208625OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208625DiVA: diva2:653998
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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Bäckström, Josefin

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