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A striving for independence: a qualitative study of women living with vertebral fracture
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Acute Internal Medicine.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Internal Medicine . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Endocrinology and Gastroenterology.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51531OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-51531DiVA: diva2:275439
Available from: 2009-11-05 Created: 2009-11-05 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Health-Related Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporotic Fractures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health-Related Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporotic Fractures
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: The global burden of osteoporosis includes considerable numbers of fractures, morbidity, mortality and expenses, due mainly to vertebral, hip and forearm fractures. Underdiagnosis and undertreatment are common. Several studies have shown decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after osteoporotic fracture, but there is a lack of data from long-term follow-up studies, particularly regarding vertebral fractures, which are often overlooked despite patients reporting symptoms.

Aim: The overall aim of this thesis was to evaluate the usefulness of a recent low-energy fracture as index event in a case-finding strategy for osteoporosis and to describe and analyse long-term HRQOL in postmenopausal women with osteoporotic fracture. The specific aims were to describe bone mineral density and risk factors in women 55-75 years of age with a recent low-energy fracture (I), estimate the impact of osteoporotic fractures on HRQOL in women three months and two years after a forearm, proximal humerus, vertebral or hip fracture (II), investigate the changes and long-term impact of vertebral or hip fracture on HRQOL in women prospectively between two and seven years after the inclusion fracture (III), and describe how HRQOL and daily life had been affected in women with vertebral fracture several years after diagnosis (IV).

Design and methods: Data were collected from southern Sweden between 1998 and 2008. A total of 303 women were included in Study I, and this group served as the basis for Studies II (n=303), III (n=67), and IV (n=10). A cross-sectional observational, case-control design (I), and a prospective longitudinal observational design (II-III) were used. In Study IV a qualitative inductive approach with interviews was used and data were analysed using a qualitative conventional content analysis.

Results: The type of recent fracture and number of previous fractures are important information for finding the most osteoporotic women in terms of severity (I). Hip and vertebral fractures in particular have a significantly larger impact on HRQOL evaluated using the SF-36 than do humerus and forearm fractures, both during the three months after fracture and two years later, compared between the different fracture groups and the reference population (II). Women who had a vertebral fracture as inclusion fracture had remaining pronounced reduction of HRQOL at seven years. At the mean age of 75.5 years (±4.6 SD), the prevalence of vertebral fracture suggests more negative long-term impact on HRQOL, more severe osteoporosis and a poorer prognosis than a hip fracture does, and this effect may have been underestimated in the past (III). Study IV demonstrates that the women’s HRQOL and daily life have been strongly affected by the long-term impact of the vertebral fracture several years after diagnosis. The women strive to maintain their independence by trying to manage different types of symptoms and consequences in different ways.

Conclusions and implications: Type and number of fractures should be taken into account in the case-finding strategy for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women between 55 and 75 years of age. The long-term reduction of HRQOL in postmenopausal women (age span 55-75 yr) with vertebral fracture emerged clearly, compared to women with other types of osteoporotic fractures and references in this thesis. The results ought to be taken into consideration when developing guidelines for more effective fracture prevention and treatment, including non-pharmacological intervention for women with osteoporotic fractures, with highest priority placed on vertebral fractures and multiple fractures, to increase or maintain HRQOL.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2009. 84 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1155
Keyword
Bone Mineral Density, Hip Fracture, Osteoporosis, Spinal Deformity Index, Vertebral fracture
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51524 (URN)978-91-7393-508-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-11-20, Hälsans hus, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-11-09 Created: 2009-11-05 Last updated: 2009-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Hallberg, IngerEk, Anna-ChristinaToss, GöranBachrach-Lindström, Margareta

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