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Title: Coping with medical error : the case of the health professional
Author: Sirriyeh, Reema Hussein
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 6319
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Many errors do not lead to adverse consequences for patients, but all errors can have a devastating impact on the health professional that has made the mistake; they are described as the 'second victim' (Wears & Wu, 2000; Wu, 2000). Errors often lead to professional and personal distress, which has implications for the quality and safety of patient care. This thesis explores the impact of making a medical error on the health professional and the strategies used to cope. The objectives of this work are to a) understand health professional's response, b) increase the evidence base about coping with this experience, and c) identify strategies to support health professionals recover. A mixed methods approach was engaged to achieve the research goals. A sequence of studies were developed based on a systematic review of the literature, and further informed by findings at each stage of the research. Studies one and two employed a cross-sectional survey in the UK and then the US to gather a diversity of data regarding responses to error, common experiences, coping strategies, and facilitators and barriers in recovery. Study three used semi-structured interviews with health care managers to explore the context of error, and gather further knowledge of the role of the manager, which was highlighted as significant in studies one and two. Following a brief review of existing attempts to support staff after error, the [mal study used focus group work with multi-disciplinary groups of health professionals to explore support and coping. Empirical data was generated, illustrating the profound impact of making a medical mistake, and the challenges of recovery. The importance of coping strategy selection in recovery from error was established as a crucial area for exploration. The value of peers and managers in the provision of support, and the importance of embedding support in the workplace were also recognised. The thesis concludes that the impact of making a medical error on health professionals is complex, and a multitude of factors can be influential in their experiences. Offering appropriate support is a continuing challenge, but one that is important to address. Undertaking this sensitive, applied research was challenging, but some lessons in developing such work have been learnt which may be applied in future undertakings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available