A qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of older patients and relatives prior to cardiac surgery

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BACKGROUND: Shared decision-making plays an important role in ensuring value-based healthcare in cardiac surgery. However, the personal situations of patients in cardiac care have not been widely explored, and thus, little is known about the decision-making experiences of patients and their relatives before surgery.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the perceptions of patients indicated for cardiac surgery and their relatives during the decision-making process, as well as their experiences of a conversation aimed at achieving shared decision-making in the treatment trajectory.

METHODS: The data were collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews with patients aged ≥70 years who were indicated for cardiac surgery and their relatives until theme saturation. Both inductive and deductive analysis were conducted based on the principles of reflexive thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Interviews with 16 patients and 10 relatives provided in-depth insights into the experiences of patients and their relatives in terms of a shared decision-making process prior to surgery. Overall, 15 subthemes were identified, and these were divided into three themes. In general, the patients' experiences and perceptions were influenced by their (1) general daily functioning. The relatives were more concerned about (2) social expectations and (3) existential uncertainty.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients eligible for cardiac surgery and their families have unique experiences and perceptions during the process of shared decision-making. The subthemes emerging from this study, such as the overestimation of potential medical outcomes by patients and their relatives, who experience fear about the current health situation of their loved one, require careful attention from healthcare professionals during decision-making conversations.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)40-46
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftHeart and lung
Vroegere onlinedatum22-feb.-2024
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 22-feb.-2024

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