Objective: Recovery following lumbar fusion surgery is frequently accompanied by post-operative pain, and patients often continue to experience some level of chronic pain. There is a scarcity of qualitative research focusing on patient experiences regarding lumbar fusion surgery. This study aims to clarify how lumbar fusion surgery patients experience the perioperative period; their hopes, their post-operative pain experiences, their fluctuating physical condition and accompanying emotions.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 lumbar fusion surgery patients. Transcripts of these interviews were open and axial coded by two coders using Atlas.ti software and Thematic Analysis.
Results: A total of thirteen categories and four overarching themes were generated from the data. Participants described their beliefs and experiences surrounding surgery, including a long preoperative illness process, tumultuous recovery and unfulfilled preoperative expectations. Participants used various forms of pain coping including activity avoidance and endurance, and emotion regulation strategies such as acceptance.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that, for lumbar fusion patients, surgery seems to be a last resort. Professionals should fulfill the patients need for information and focus on managing realistic expectations while respecting the distress and strain the illness process has on a patient, thereby potentially increasing patient satisfaction and enhancing postoperative recovery.
|Journal||International Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing|
|Early online date||8 Jul 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2019|
- Emotion regulation
- Lumbar fusion surgery
- Patient experiences
- Qualitative research