Younger patient´s experience of living with mechanical circulatory support. A phenomenological-hermeneutic study

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Sammanfattning: Aims and objectives: To describe younger patients’ experiences of living with a mechanicalcirculatory support with focus on self-efficacy.Background: Heart failure is increasing even among younger patients. Life-threatening heart failurecan occur and the patient will need heart transplantation. Treatment with mechanical circulatorysupport (MCS) may be necessary. Living with MCS in the form of a biventricular assist device(BiVAD) means living with a visible mechanical device attached to the body. There are no qualitativestudies published describing only younger patients’ experiences of living with BiVAD, and how itaffects their perception of their bodies. Self-efficacy plays a decisive role in dealing with threateningsituations. It is important to gain in-depth knowledge of what BiVAD treatment means and how selfefficacyaffects the patient’s ability to handle this life change.Design: A qualitative interview study with eight adults participants.Methods: The data was analyzed using the phenomenological-hermeneutic method.Results: An overall theme, Navigating from helplessness to feeling strong in the new reality, and threethemes emerged: Feeling homeless in a changed reality describes the experience of suddenly falling illand the loneliness caused by the disease. Finding my own inner resources shows that the intervieweesfound the strength to fight for their lives and began to regain control of their situation. Adapting to mynew reality describes the importance of drawing strength from others and being able to see MCS as afriend providing respite from the disease.Conclusions: Self-efficacy belief plays a significant role for younger patients to be able to accept MCStreatment and to handle a changed reality.Relevance to clinical practice: When patients treated with MCS experience control over theirsituation, they can be transferred to a cardiology outpatient clinic, which for the patients imply a steptowards independence and a sense of normality.

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