Patients' experiences and wellbeing after injury: A focus group study

E. Visser*, B.L. den Oudsten, M. Traa, T. Gosens, Jolanda de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Injury can have physical, psychological and social consequences. It is unclear which factors have an impact on patients’ wellbeing after injury. This study aimed to explore, using focus groups, patients’ experiences and wellbeing after injury and which factors, impede or facilitate patients’ wellbeing.

Methods
Trauma patients, treated in the shock room of the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital, the Netherlands, participated in focus groups. Purposive sampling was used. Exclusion criteria were younger than 18 years old, severe traumatic brain injury, dementia, and insufficient knowledge of the Dutch language. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using coding technique open, axial, and selective coding, based on phenomenological approach.

Results
Six focus groups (3 to 7 participants) were held before data saturation was reached. In total, 134 patients were invited, 28 (21%) agreed to participate (Median age: 59.5; min. 18 –max. 84). Main reasons to decline were fear that the discussion would be too confronting or patients experienced no problems regarding the trauma or treatment. Participants experienced difficulties on physical (no recovery to pre-trauma level), psychological (fear of dying or for permanent limitations, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, cognitive dysfunction), social (impact on relatives and social support) wellbeing. These are impeding factors for recovery. However, good communication, especially clarity about the injury and expectations concerning recovery and future perspectives could help patients in surrendering to care. Patients felt less helpless when they knew what to expect.

Conclusions
This is the first study that explored patients’ experiences and wellbeing after injury. Patients reported that their injury had an impact on their physical, psychological, and social wellbeing up to 12 months after injury. Professionals with the knowledge of consequences after injury could improve their anticipation on patients’ need.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0245198
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • 2 DECADES
  • CARE
  • DEPRESSION
  • DETERMINANTS
  • IMPACT
  • POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • RECOVERY
  • SCALE
  • TRAUMATIC BRAIN-INJURY

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