After colonic surgery: The lived experience of participating in a fast-track programme.

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  • Institute of Science in Nursing
Postoperative recovery can be accelerated and hospitalization reduced through fast-track programmes. However, documented knowledge is limited and primarily focusing on a medical perspective whereas the patients' perspective lacks documentation. This study describes the lived experience of participating in a fast-track programme after colonic surgery. Sixteen patients were interviewed twice. The interviews were analysed using a descriptive phenomenological approach. Participating in a fast-track programme is characterized by a process where patients experience how the daily regimen works both with them and against them. To succeed in the overall goal of recovering fast according to the evidence-based care plan involves facing dilemmas and mobilizing courage and will to follow the regimen. Support from the professionals is crucial. The participants had a strong desire to comply and regain health; but this role of being a good and cooperative patient had a built-in asymmetric power relationship favouring the professionals' expectations. The complexities of this power relationship were related to both patient factors and contextual factors, e.g. the daily regimen and hospital norms. Although patient participation in care is an accepted ideal, it is demanding and difficult to accomplish. More studies on fast-track programmes are needed, with special attention to patient autonomy and partnership.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

    Research areas

  • colonic surgery, fast-track recovery, patient perspective, caring science, phenomenology, patient participation

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