A striving for independence: a qualitative study of women living with vertebral fracture
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Background: Quantitative studies using generic and disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaires have shown that osteoporosis-related vertebral fractures have a significant negative effect on HRQOL, but there are only few studies that address what it means to live with vertebral fracture from a deeper experiential perspective. How HRQOL and daily life are affected several years after vertebral fracture and how women cope with this are more unclear. This study aimed to describe how HRQOL and daily life had been affected in women with vertebral fracture several years after diagnosis.
Methods: The study design was qualitative. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten Swedish women during 2008. Data were analysed using qualitative inductive content analysis.
Results: The findings of this study revealed three themes related to the influence on HRQOL and daily life: A threatened independence, i.e. back pain, anxiety, negative impact on self-image and consequences in daily life; Strategies for maintaining independence, i.e. coping, self-care and support; and The importance of maintaining independence, i.e. the ability to perform everyday activities, social interaction and having something meaningful to do. As a result of how their HRQOL and daily life have been affected by their vertebral fractures, the women in this study are striving for independence or maintaining their independence by trying to manage the different types of symptoms and consequences in different ways.
Conclusion: HRQOL and daily life were strongly affected in a negative way by the impact of the vertebral fracture. One possible effective intervention for the future may be to support women in using self-management strategies so that they can be in charge of their situation and positively influence their HRQOL and daily life to achieve independence, but further evaluation is still needed. Information from this study may provide a foundation for guidelines for health care professionals to offer empathic and supportive care to women living with prevalent vertebral fracture.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51531OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-51531DiVA: diva2:275439