J Vasc Nurs. 2022 Jun;40(2):92-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jvn.2022.01.005. Epub 2022 Feb 17.
OBJECTIVES: To explore patients' perspectives on living with an abdominal aorta aneurysm (AAA) to obtain understanding of how to address their needs by changes in infrastructures in AAA surveillance.
BACKGROUND: In outpatient care, patients with AAA are offered surveillance by annual or biannual ultrasound scans to monitor AAA progression. When AAA exceeds 50 mm in women and 55 mm in men, surgical interventions are recommended to prevent rupture. Qualitative research shows that this knowledge causes a psychological impact on daily living, which this study responds to.
METHODS: Inspired by the methodology of Action Research, we combined field observations, interviews, reflective dialogues and workshops to identify patients´ challenges and make practice changes possible as we developed, tested and integrated an interactive mobile phone application.
RESULTS: The interviewed participants expressed the impact of living with AAA to be on a continuum from significant to insignificant. In the significant end, AAA was experienced to influence daily life. In the insignificant end, AAA only came to mind in certain situations. Regardless of where patients were positioned on the continuum, their positions were affected positively or negatively by five factors: aneurysm growth, rupture worries, quality of knowledge, relationship with vascular experts and relatives. We found it possible to support patients moving positively on the continuum by addressing those factors using an interactive mobile application developed for this purpose.
CONCLUSION: Action Research was the key to find factors influencing daily living for patients with AAA who pointed the direction to which we developed an application with a digital guide adjusted to the specific patient group addressing their needs and challenges. This study points out the significance of research done with the people involved; a new sustainable infrastructure is the result of the valuable cooperation of both patients and health professionals.
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