Alcoholic liver disease patients’ perspective of a coping and physical activity-oriented rehabilitation intervention after hepatic encephalopathy: MR Mikkelsen et al.

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Abstract

Aim and objective

To identify and describe the impact of a coping and physical activity-oriented rehabilitation intervention on alcoholic liver disease patients after hepatic encephalopathy in terms of their interaction with professionals and relatives.

Background

Patients who have experienced alcohol-induced hepatic encephalopathy have reduced quality of life, multiple complications, and social problems, and rehabilitation opportunities for these patients are limited.

Design

A grounded theory study and an evaluation study of a controlled intervention study.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 alcoholic liver disease patients who were diagnosed with hepatic encephalopathy and participated in a coping and physical activity-oriented rehabilitation intervention. Richard S. Lazarus's theory of stress and coping inspired the interview guide.

Results

The significance of a coping and physical activity-oriented rehabilitation intervention on alcoholic liver disease patients’ ability to cope with problems after surviving alcohol-induced hepatic encephalopathy in terms of their interaction with professionals and relatives was characterised by the core category ‘regain control over the diseased body’. This is subdivided into three separate categories: ‘the experience of being physically strong’, ‘togetherness’ and ‘self-control’, and they impact each other and are mutually interdependent.

Conclusion

Alcoholic liver disease patients described the strength of the rehabilitation as regaining control over the diseased body. Professionals and relatives of patients with alcoholic liver disease may need to focus on strengthening and preserving patients’ control of their diseased body by facilitating the experience of togetherness, self-control and physical strength when interacting with and supporting patients with alcoholic liver disease.

Relevance to clinical practice

A coping and physical activity-oriented rehabilitation intervention may help alcoholic liver disease patients to regain control over their diseased body and give patients the experience of togetherness, self-control and physical strength. Professionals should be aware of giving the patients the experience of togetherness in their interactions, help them perceive self-control and gain physical strength during their rehabilitation.

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