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Recovery as work: the tasks of the patient in ICU and beyond

Thomas, H, Earthy, SM and Sleney, J (2014) Recovery as work: the tasks of the patient in ICU and beyond .

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This paper considers the health care work required of ICU patients during critical illness and recovery. The longer term consequences of critical illness and time spent in ICU on patients’ health and wellbeing may be considerable.1 Literature on patients’ experiences is more limited but useful contributions include Rier’s2 first person account of critical illness and emergence from this, and the difficulties experienced by critically ill patients following transfer from ICU to the general ward.3 The concept of work offers an alternative way of understanding the tasks, roles and duties undertaken by ICU patients in hospital and following discharge.4, 5 Secondary thematic analysis of 37 qualitative interview transcripts was carried out using a dataset on intensive care from the archive of the Health Experience Research Group (HERG), University of Oxford, UK. The dataset provides a maximum variation sample of the type of illness or health event preceding admission to ICU and variation in socio-economic factors. Of the 37 interviewees: 22 were men and 15 women; age at interview ranged between 23 and 76 (mean 51.9 years). Participants were admitted to ICU due to illness or injury (n=23), were transferred as planned aftercare following surgery (n=5) or were emergency admissions following surgery (n=9). Participants described the changing tasks and variable agency required of them in the diverse settings of ICU, a general or other ward and following discharge to home. Key areas of work included body work, emotional labour and adaptation to interactional styles in different settings. Work varied in its visibility to staff and others, and in its legitimacy in relation to health care expectations.

Item Type: Other
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Thomas, H
Sleney, J
Date : 8 December 2014
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:32
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 10:41

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