The lived experience of adults with heart failure: a phenomenological study
Although a number of studies have been conducted on patients with Heart Failure (HF), they have not given a rigorous comprehensive description of what it is like to live with HF. The objective of this study was to describe the lived experience of adults with HF.
A hermeneutic phenomenological design was used.
Cohen's method was used to conduct the study. Thirty HF patients were enrolled between February and July 2014 from an outpatient cardiovascular clinic in Tuscany, Italy. Phenomenological interviews took place at patients' homes, and the investigators analyzed verbatim transcripts. Once data saturation was achieved, to ensure data trustworthiness, participants were asked to confirm all the extracted themes. Atals.ti vers.7 was used for data analysis.
The patients were mostly male (67%) with a mean age of 71 (SD 9.15) and an age range of 48-86. Seven themes emerged from the phenomenological analysis: 1) important life changes; 2) social isolation caused by the illness; 3) anger and resignation associated with the disease; 4) relief from spirituality; 5) will to live; 6) uncertainty about the future and 7) the inescapability of disease and death.
The meaning that patients attribute to their lived experience helps to create their needs, which are important to direct care. Family support and religious beliefs are an important source for HF patients to better manage their fears and cope with the future. Findings of this study provide nurses with a comprehensive description of what it is like to live with HF, which can be useful in helping to meet patients' needs more effectively and in tailoring interventions.
Family; Heart failure; Lived experience; Phenomenology; Spirituality.