Few studies have focussed on patients' experiences of and suffering due to mediastinitis following Coronary Artery by-pass Graft ( CABG). Mediastinitis creates a complex and invasive experience for the patient with prolonged hospitalisation, and would be expected to be a significant stressor. The aim of the present study was to capture patients' experiences of the medical and nursing care they received for mediastinitis following CABG. Content analysis revealed three themes with regard to how the patients coped with the stress and threats of mediastinitis and its treatment and how they thought it would influence their future life. A first theme centred on physical and psychological discomfort and impact on autonomy. The staff's medical knowledge and the quality of nursing care as well as the patients' understanding of the situation influenced their experience. A second theme was how patients dealt with perceived danger and stress. Coping strategies such as problem solving, information seeking, dissociation, distraction, minimisation and expression of emotion were used to handle the situations. The third theme comprised the patients' belief that the mediastinitis would not affect the outcome of the CABG procedure, even though their confidence in this was influenced by uncertainty about the rehabilitation process.
- Medicin och hälsovetenskap (3)