ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P319

Self-observations of total life situation in patients with Acromegalia

Jonna Gintberg Jensen

Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

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 Eriksson’s 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:
• Patient information

• Optimization of nursing

• Patient education to enable patients to manage complications at an early stage.

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