BACKGROUND: Recovery for patients presenting to trauma services globally with blunt thoracic injury (BTI) remains challenging with substantial levels of physical, psychological socio-economic burden. The aim of this study is to examine the challenges experienced by patients with BTI from hospital admission to 6-months after hospital discharge.
METHODS: Participants were recruited from trauma patients admitted with BTI and were recruited from 7 sites across England and Wales between March and June 2019. Semi-structured interviews were conducted at six-months after discharge from hospital, and in total 11 interviews were undertaken. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed with reflexive thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Two themes were identified within the data: (i) Challenges within the acute hospital admission where pain and analgesic management and the processes of investigation and treatment were the sources of most challenges to recovery. (ii) Challenges within the post-discharge recovery journey, where managing pain at home, unidentified injuries, and mental well-being impacted most on recovery.
CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to the body of qualitative evidence surrounding recovery from major trauma and the patient experience within the recovery journey after BTI and It is important that clinicians consider the whole recovery journey as a continuous process rather than two isolated processes.