How do patients with peripheral arterial disease communicate their knowledge about their illness and treatments? A qualitative descriptive study

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Abstract

Background: Peripheral arterial disease is a chronic illness, and patients with peripheral arterial disease should receive advice about lifestyle changes and medical therapies to reduce further atherosclerotic complications. Previous research has indicated that patients with peripheral arterial disease lack information about their disease and secondary prevention measures. The aim was to elucidate how patients with peripheral arterial disease communicate their knowledge about their illness and treatments. Methods: During 2009, seven focus group interviews were conducted with twenty-one patients (50-81 years old) with peripheral arterial disease and were analysed using content analysis. Results: When respondents with PAD communicate their knowledge about the illness and its treatments they "Navigate through uncertainty, believes and facts about PAD, displaying an active or passive information-seeking behaviour". After discharge, they felt a feeling of relief at first, which was later exchanged into uncertainty from their restricted knowledge about the illness and how to behave following revascularisation. For example, during the discussions about risk factors, smoking was noted as a major risk factor, that triggered feelings of guilt. Thus, the respondents needed to consult other sources of information to manage their everyday lives. Conclusions: Following endovascular treatment, the short amount of time spent with peripheral arterial disease patients requires innovative guidance in clinical practice to meet individuals' needs regardless of whether the patient actively or passively understands and manages their peripheral arterial disease.

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Wann-Hansson, C., & Wennick, A. (2016). How do patients with peripheral arterial disease communicate their knowledge about their illness and treatments? A qualitative descriptive study. BMC Nursing, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-016-0151-9

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