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Title: Learning to recover : patients' accounts of their post-surgery experiences
Author: Mulgrew, Aileen Fiona
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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This is a qualitative study the main purpose of which was to explore female surgical patients’ descriptions of what for them, constituted the experience of ‘recovering’. A second order aim was to find out what might have helped or hindered post-surgical recovery. The sample consisted of 9 patients from an elective orthopaedic unit (Ward A) within a specialist orthopaedic hospital and another 9 patients from a vascular ward (Ward B) within a large general hospital. The participants were aged between 30 and 80 years. Taped semi-structured interviews were conducted pre-operatively in hospital and post-discharge in the participants’ homes. Narrative analysis of the unedited transcriptions of these interviews identified common meanings and themes. Comparisons were made between the first and second interviews and between the two ward groups. Interpretation of the emergent themes was done using the sociocultural learning theory of Lave and Wenger (1991). The employment of this theory enabled ‘recovery’ to be conceptualised as a learning process. Distinctive differences between the two patient groups related to the presence or absence of positive portrayals of the recovery experience as a ‘shared travail’ in Wards A and B respectively. The communal portrayal of recovery from the Ward A participants was discerned in their reflective and theorising narratives which frequently were diachronically structured evoking very ‘visible’ day-by-day remobilisation routines. The importance of routines in aiding the peripheral participation of patients in the practice of recovering was explored. In the Ward B presentations of recovering, a much less ‘visible’ patient work was identified which appeared to relate to the lengthy and event-driven character of peripheral vascular disease.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available