• Patients' and ambulance service clinicians' experiences of prehospital care for acute myocardial infarction and stroke: a qualitative study

      Togher, Fiona Jayne; Davy, Zowie; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2013-11)
      BACKGROUND: Patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke commonly present first to the ambulance service. Little is known about experiences of prehospital care which are important for measuring the quality of services for patients with AMI or stroke. AIM: We explored experiences of patients, who had accessed the ambulance service for AMI or stroke, and clinicians regularly treating patients for these conditions in the prehospital setting. METHOD: A qualitative research design was employed to obtain rich and detailed data to explore and compare participants' experiences of emergency prehospital care for AMI and stroke. RESULTS: We conducted 33 semistructured interviews with service users and clinicians and one focus group with five clinicians. Four main themes emerged: communication, professionalism, treatment of condition and the transition from home to hospital. Patients focused on both personal and technical skills. Technical knowledge and relational skills together contributed to a perception of professionalism in ambulancepersonnel. Patients' experience was enhanced when physical, emotional and social needs were attended to and they emphasised effective communication within the clinician-patient relationship to be the key. However, we found a discrepancy between paramedics' perceptions of patients' expectations and patients' lack of knowledge of the paramedic role. CONCLUSIONS: Factors that contribute to better patient experience are not necessarily understood in the same way by patients and clinicians. Our findings can contribute to the development of patient experience measures for prehospital care. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/30/11/942.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2012-201507
    • Patients' and emergency clinicians' perceptions of improving pre-hospital pain management: a qualitative study

      Iqbal, Mohammad; Spaight, Peggy Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2013-03)
      Background The authors aimed to investigate patients’ and practitioners’ views and experiences of pre-hospital pain management to inform improvements in care and a patient-centred approach to treatment. Methods This was a qualitative study involving a single emergency medical system. Data were gathered through focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Participants were purposively sampled from patients transported by ambulance to hospital with a painful condition during the past 6 months, ambulance service and emergency department (ED) clinicians. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted. Results 55 participants were interviewed: 17 patients, 25 ambulance clinicians and 13 ED clinicians. Key themes included: (1) consider beliefs of patients and staff in pain management; (2) widen pain assessment strategies; (3) optimise non-drug treatment; (4) increase drug treatment options; and (5) enhance communication and coordination along the pre-hospital pain management pathway. Patients and staff expected pain to be relieved in the ambulance; however, refusal of or inadequate analgesia were common. Pain was commonly assessed using a verbal score, but practitioners’ views of severity were sometimes discordant with this. Morphine and Entonox were commonly used to treat pain. Reassurance, positioning and immobilisation were used as alternatives to drugs. Pre-hospital pain management could be improved by addressing practitioner and patient barriers, increasing available drugs and developing multi-organisational pain management protocols supported by training for staff. Conclusions Pain is often poorly managed and undertreated in the pre-hospital environment. The authors’ findings may be used to inform guidance, education and policy to improve the pre-hospital pain management pathway. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/30/3/e18.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2012-201111