Lived experiences of Jamaican hospital patients with delayed wound healing

Christopher F. Ekpo, Edith M. Duff, Ellen Y. Bailey, Jascinth L.M. Lindo


Introduction: Many individuals suffer from chronic or complex wounds that can be very difficult to heal and cause severe pain and hardship. In the absence of any evidence based local information on the topic, this study explored the lived experiences of Jamaican hospital patients with delayed wound healing using physiological, psychological, socio-cultural, developmental and spiritual perspectives.
Methods: A qualitative descriptive study design with a purposive sampling method was used to select five patients, two males and three females (aged 33 years old to 56 years old) from a regional hospital in western Jamaica, who were recruited into the study. They each had a single chronic ulcer on an extremity. Following ethical approval and informed consent, individual interviews were conducted and thematic analyses were done on the data.
Results: Diabetes mellitus and infection were the etiologic factors in their delayed wound healing. All of the participants experienced social isolation, low self-esteem, “frustration”, job loss/loss of man hours, financial dependence and impaired physical mobility. They desired improved communication with healthcare personnel, more supportive and caring attitudes from family and caregivers; as well as enhanced learning experiences to acquire the self-care skills needed for all aspects of diabetes control and wound care.
Conclusions: The patients’ lived experiences and stated needs should be noted by all caring health professionals. Future interventions and care plans should address all the perspectives experienced and described by these patients.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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