Exploring patient experiences after treatment of humeral shaft fractures: A qualitative study

Dennis Karimi*, Line Houkjær, Anders Skive, Camilla Holmenlund, Stig Brorson, Bjarke Viberg, Charlotte Abrahamsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Introduction: Humeral shaft fracture treatment can induce serious morbidities, and it is unclear how these
morbidities impact patients. To gain in-depth knowledge, we explored how patients experience humeral shaft
fractures and the subsequent treatment course.
Method: A qualitative study was performed using semi-structured individual interviews. A purposive sampling
approach was conducted to recruit patients with traumatic isolated humeral shaft fractures; the patients’ ages,
genders, primary treatments, and complications varied. Data saturation was met after the data of 12 patients
were analyzed using Malterud Systematic Text Condensation.
Results: Eight women and four men with a median age of 48.5 years (range: 22–83 years) were interviewed. The
median time from injury to interview was 12.5 months (range: 8–18 months). Ten out of twelve patients were
treated non-surgically; of those ten, four patients experienced major complications from the primary treatment.
During the analysis, five overarching themes appeared: expectations, physical changes, support and independence, psychological impact, and the specific treatment and recovery.
Conclusion: First, patients with humeral shaft fractures expressed frustration with treatment in the emergency
department. Second, gross fracture movement and pain were central symptoms that led to the loss of basic capabilities. Third, patient preferences were included in the treatment decision-making process and could change
throughout the treatment course. Fourth, patients required massive support to perform basic activities of daily
Original languageEnglish
Article number100957
JournalInternational Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 4. Jul 2022

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