Older individuals’ need for knowledge and follow-up about their chronic atrial fibrillation, lifelong medical treatment and medical controls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Older individuals with chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) often experience physical symptoms and feel psychologically unwell. In addition, these persons are prescribed lifelong medical treatment that requires regular monitoring. Through 11 individual interviews, this interpretive description study aimed to explore and describe lifelong medical treatment and the need for medical controls as experienced from the perspective of older individuals living with chronic AF. The interviews were performed during 2014–2015; furthermore, they were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed for thematic patterns using thematic analysis inspired by Braun and Clarke. Ethical standards were followed throughout the study. The findings revealed one main theme: ‘ambivalence in the need of knowledge’ showing that lifelong medical treatment and the need for medical controls, in general, meant experiencing feelings of ‘it doesn't matter, but it does matter’ and ‘being in the hands of the healthcare system’. The older persons lacked knowledge about their condition, which generated poor insight into their medical treatment and this in turn affected their daily life. They had thoughts and questions about their medication, but did not have an opportunity to ask the questions because of lack of follow-up from the healthcare system. The findings underscore the negative impact chronic AF has on older people's life and emphasises the need for follow-up and providing information from health care to these individuals.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Blekinge Institute of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geriatrics
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems

Keywords

  • ageing, heart health, interpretive methods, lived experience, medication, older people, qualitative method
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1030
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Volume31
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes