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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearchpeer-review


Background: Humeral shaft fracture treatment can induce serious morbidities, and fractures are notoriously difficult to handle in the emergency department as well as in the outpatient clinic. It is unclear how patients experience their treatment course and how different morbidities impact patients.
Aim: To gain in-depth knowledge, we explored how patients experience humeral shaft fractures and the subsequent treatment course.
Materials and Methods: 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 were identified: expectations, physical changes, support and independence, psychological impact, and the specific treatment and recovery. Within these themes patients experienced feeling trivialized by personnel, lacked quality information, and were severely impaired in their mobility and independence.
Interpretation / 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 living.
Original languageDanish
Publication date16. Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 16. Nov 2022
EventDOS Kongres 2022 - Vingsted Hotel & Conference center
Duration: 16. Nov 202218. Nov 2022


ConferenceDOS Kongres 2022
LocationVingsted Hotel & Conference center
Internet address

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