A qualitative approach to recovery after open tibial fracture: The road to a novel, patient-derived recovery scale
Trickett RW et al. – There is a wide range of factors that the cohort found important during their recovery from open tibial fracture. Despite being considered as ‘healed’ by the medical staff, patients did not report a corresponding full recovery and return to pre–injury normality. The categories identified will enable the development of a patient–reported recovery scale to be used in lower–limb trauma.Methods
- Following the appropriate ethical approval, adult patients with a diagnosis of open tibial fracture were recruited after completion of their surgical treatment and discharge from Morriston Hospital, a centre with orthoplastic surgical care.
- A purposive sampling method was employed to ensure that a range of injuries as well as clinical outcomes were included.
- All patients took part in an in–depth semi–structured interview, exploring aspects of their injury, treatment, rehabilitation and psychosocial and financial situations.
- Interviews were completed with two interviewers present and were recorded for verbatim transcription.
- Interview transcripts were analysed to identify items important to patients during their recovery.
- Nine patients with a mean injury to interview interval of 2.3years were interviewed.
- A total of 538 items were identified and subsequently mapped onto 18 categories: pain; mobility; flexibility; temperature (effects on symptoms); fear; appearance; sleep; diet/weight; employment; social; finance; impact on others; self–care; recovery (patient perceptions of recovery); frustration; goal setting (by patients and health–care providers); and adaptation (both physical and mental).