Background: Acromegalia is an infrequent chronic disease requiring lifelong control. A total of about 350 Danish patients have acromegalia. It is difficult for this patient group to find information on coping strategies in fellow patients.
There are numerous international quantitative studies on the symptoms in acromegalia patients; no qualitative studies on self-observations as a way to exchange experiences and optimize nursing in connection with hospitalisations.
The purpose was to clarify patients self-observations on:
What it was like to live with a disease for many years before it was diagnosed and treated.
Nursing is in connection with hospitalisations.
Patients outlook/perception of the future.
Method: The theoretical approach was the operative constructivism by Niklas Luhmann. The qualitative interviews were based on the method of Steiner Kvale. From April to December 2007, 37 patients were interviewed in connection with hospitalisations at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. The semi-structured interview guide was based on Katie Erikssons theories about disease, nursing and life suffering. The method of analysis was meaning condensation. Analyses will be made in January 2008.
Preliminary results: Some patients see themselves as healthy, but most patients experience discomfort:
They are unfit for work
They have problems structuring everyday life
They have social problems
They worry about the future
Anticipated conclusion: The results can be used for:
Optimization of nursing
Patient education to enable patients to manage complications at an early stage.