Coping, Psychiatric Morbidity and Perceived Care in Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Haemorrhage
Abstract: Many patients with an aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) exhibit difficulties in rehabilitation, even in cases of a good prognosis. The present project investigates this using qualitative methods and standardised outcome measures.Patients with SAH treated at Uppsala University Hospital between 2002 and 2005 with an expected good prognosis were consecutively included. In addition, nurses working with such patients were interviewed.Outcome was assessed in terms of perception of care, psychiatric health, coping and health related quality of life (HRQoL).Qualitative content analyses revealed eight categories, which were divided into two patterns, Confident or Pessimistic perception of recovery, largely on the basis of the presence or absence of depression.Eighty-three patients were assessed by The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, Axis I (SCID-I). Forty-one percent fulfilled criteria for any psychiatric disorder seven months after SAH and 45 % presented with a history of lifetime psychiatric morbidity. Logistic regressions indicated that a psychiatric history was related to a higher risk of psychiatric problems seven months after SAH, as well as a lower return to work.SAH patients had lower HRQoL than the general Swedish population; almost entirely in the subgroup with a psychiatric history prior to the SAH. Those with a psychiatric history used more evasive, fatalistic, emotive and palliative coping strategies associated with inability to handle illness. Multiple regressions revealed that a psychiatric history and use of coping were independently associated with HRQoL, albeit more in the mental than the physical domains.Qualitative content analyses revealed that nurses viewed patients’ support needs as a process ranging from technological to emotional care. Shortcomings in the communication between nurses in acute and rehabilitation settings on the subject of support were acknowledged.The results underline the importance of early diagnosis of coexisting psychiatric illness and the need for an intact health care chain.
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