Adolescents' Experience with Scoliosis Surgery: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

This article reports a study of adolescents' narrated experiences of undergoing scoliosis surgery. Six adolescents were interviewed. Open and semistructured questions were asked, and a qualitative content analysis of the text was performed. The results are presented in three main categories followed by subcategories. The three main categories of experience were emotional, physical, and social. The emotional aspects that emerged were fear, nightmares, nervousness, and helplessness. These had a great impact on adolescents' well-being before, during, and after the hospital visit. The physical aspects were mobilization, scars, different hip levels, pain, nausea, appetite, and urinary catheter. These aspects caused much discomfort, mostly during the hospital visit. The social aspects were friends, power, coaching and comfort, and sports. Some of the social aspects had a strong negative impact on the adolescents' well-being mostly after the hospital visit. This study suggests that both before and long after the surgery adolescents have strong emotions that they should be better prepared and helped to manage. To optimize perioperative care an interdisciplinary, a holistic approach must be taken that incorporates the complexity and whole of the adolescent's experiences. The findings of this study suggest that perioperative care of adolescents during scoliosis surgery needs to be optimized. To improve patients' psychologic preparation before surgery pediatric nurses should learn more about the individual patient and make care plans from a holistic perspective. Follow-up after discharge should address emotional, social, and physical aspects of the adolescent's health.

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