University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalIntensive & critical care nursing
Early online date19 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


INTRODUCTION: Haemato-oncology patients often require critical care support due to side-effects of treatment. Discharge can mark the start of an uncertain journey due to the impact of critical illness on health-related quality of life. Qualitatively establishing needs is a priority as current evidence is limited.

AIMS: To qualitatively explore perceptions of haemato-oncology patients' health-related quality of life after critical illness and explore how healthcare professionals can provide long-term support.

METHODS: Nine in-depth interviews were conducted three to eighteen months post-discharge from critical care. Phenomenology was used to gain deeper understanding of the patients' lived experience.

SETTING: A 19-bedded Intensive Care Unit in a specialist cancer centre.

FINDINGS: Five major themes emerged: Intensive care as a means to an end; Rollercoaster of illness; Reliance on hospital; Having a realistic/sanguine approach; Living in the moment. Haemato-oncology patients who experience critical illness may view it as a small part of a larger treatment pathway, thus health-related quality of life is impacted by this rather than the acute episode.

CONCLUSIONS: Discharge from the intensive care unit can be seen as a positive end-point, allowing personal growth in areas such as relationships and living life to the full. The contribution of health-care professionals and support of significant others is regarded as critical to the recovery experience.

ID: 12852459