Coping and rehabilitation in alcoholic liver disease patients after hepatic encephalopathy: in interaction with professionals and relatives

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Maria Rudkjær Mikkelsen, Carsten Hendriksen, Frank Vinholt Schiødt, Susan Rydahl-Hansen

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To identify and describe conditions that limit or support patients, with alcoholic liver disease after surviving alcohol-induced hepatic encephalopathy, ability to cope with current and potential physical and psychosocial problems--in interaction with professionals and relatives--and to recommend appropriate interventions.

BACKGROUND: Alcoholic liver disease patients surviving alcohol-induced hepatic encephalopathy have significantly impaired quality of life. Internationally, there is a lack of knowledge about the conditions that affect alcoholic liver disease patients' coping and rehabilitation.

DESIGN: A grounded theory study.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews, conducted with 11 alcoholic liver disease patients who were diagnosed with hepatic encephalopathy. The interview guide was inspired by Richard S. Lazarus's theory of stress and coping.

RESULTS: The elements that support or limit alcoholic liver disease patients' ability to cope with physical and psychosocial problems in interaction with professionals and relatives were represented by the core category 'Struggle for preservation of identity as a significant individual'. It was characterised by three categories, which are interrelated and impact upon each other: 'Acknowledgement', 'Struggle to maintain control' and 'Achieving a sense of security'.

CONCLUSION: Alcoholic liver disease patients experience a struggle to preserve their identity as a significant individual. It can be assumed that professionals and relatives in their interaction with, and support of, patients should focus on strengthening and preserving patients' identity in the form of acknowledgement, helping alcoholic liver disease patients maintain self-control and providing a safety net so patients feel a sense of security.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: It can be assumed that professionals should support alcoholic liver disease patients' appraisal of, and coping with, physical and psychosocial problems based on acknowledgment, understanding and a sympathetic attitude. Professionals should proactively approach patients when they withdraw. It may be useful for professionals to be aware of alcoholic liver disease patients' individual coping strategies and thereby their individual requirements for professional supportive intervention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume24
Issue number23-24
Pages (from-to)3627-3637
Number of pages11
ISSN0962-1067
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

ID: 162713283