Experiences of undergoing cardiac surgery among older people diagnosed with postoperative delirium: one year follow-up
2015 (English)In: BMC Nursing, ISSN 1472-6955, Vol. 14, 17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease is common among old people and many undergo cardiac surgery. Scientific knowledge is available on cardiac surgery from several perspectives. However, we found few studies focusing on older patients' experiences of cardiac surgery. The aim of this study was to illuminate experiences of undergoing cardiac surgery among older people diagnosed with postoperative delirium, a one year follow-up.
METHODS: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 49 participants (aged ≥70 years) diagnosed with delirium after cardiac surgery. Data were collected in Sweden during 2010 through individual, semi-structured interviews in participants' homes one year after surgery. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: Four themes with sub-themes were formulated: Feeling drained of viability includes having a body under attack, losing strength and being close to death. Feeling trapped in a weird world describes participants having hallucinations, being in a nightmare and being remorseful for their behavior. Being met with disrespect includes feeling disappointed, being forced, and feeling like cargo. On the other hand, Feeling safe, including being in supportive hands and feeling grateful, points to participants' experiences of good care and the gift of getting a second chance in life.
CONCLUSIONS: Even one year after cardiac surgery, participants described in detail feelings of extreme vulnerability and frailty. They also had felt completely in the hands of the health care professionals. Participants described experiences of hallucinations and nightmares during hospitalization. Cardiac surgery was a unique, fearful, traumatic and unpleasant experience yet could also include pleasant or rewarding aspects. It seems that health care professionals need deeper knowledge on postoperative delirium in order to prevent, detect and treat delirium to avoid and relieve the suffering these experiences might cause.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 14, 17
Cardiac surgery, Delirium, Lived experience, Nursing, Older people, Patient’s experience, Perioperative period
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101857DOI: 10.1186/s12912-015-0069-7PubMedID: 25866476OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-101857DiVA: diva2:807362