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Understanding recovery in older adults following cardiac surgery

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Papendorf, Ann
Chappy, Sharon
Mar 16, 2009
Postoperative care; Coronary bypass - Patients - Rehabilitation; Heart - Surgery - Rehabilitation; Heart - Patients - Psychological aspects
An estimated 80 million American adults suffer from cardiovascular heart disease. In order to treat their heart disease, approximately 699,000 undergo cardiac surgeries annually (American Heart Association [AHA], 2008a). With people living longer, new treatment options, and the elderly at greater risk of developing heart disease, older adults are having cardiac surgeries performed more frequently (Bardakci, Cheema, Topkara, Dang, Martens, Mercando, Forster, Benson, George, Russo, Oz, & Esrig., 2007). Various quantitative studies have demonstrated differences in recovery of older adults (Bardakci et a!.; Barnett & Halpin, 2003; Pierson, Norton, Herbert, Pierson, Ramp, Kiebzak, Fedor, & Cook, 2003). Few qualitative studies have been conducted capturing the meaning of recovery. Since the recovery experience of older adults following cardiac surgery is understudied, the purpose of this descriptive qualitative study was to explore the recovery experience of adults. The research question was: What is the recovery experience of older adults following cardiac surgery? Orem's (2001) self-care deficit theory of nursing was used as the theoretical framework to explore the recovery experience in older adults. A convenience sample of three participants from northeastern Wisconsin was solicited for the study. Participants were obtained from a cardiothoracic surgeon's private practice. Audiotaped interviews were conducted. Data were collected and then analyzed using codes and pattern codes. Interpretation of data identified three meaningful themes: (a) overcoming challenges, (b) getting support, and (c) staying positive. Results can be used by advanced practice nurses in caring for older adult patients to prepare them for surgery and enhance their recovery.
A Clinical Paper Submitted in the Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner.
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