Symptoms in patients with takotsubo syndrome: a qualitative interview study.

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Symptoms in patients with takotsubo syndrome: a qualitative interview study.

BMJ Open. 2016 Oct 5;6(10):e011820

Authors: Wallström S, Ulin K, Omerovic E, Ekman I

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate the meaning of narrated symptoms in connection to takotsubo syndrome.
DESIGN, METHOD, PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Qualitative study consisting of 25 interviews, 23 women and 2 men aged 39-84 and living in Region Västra Götaland, Sweden. The transcribed text was analysed with phenomenological hermeneutics.
RESULTS: The interviewees reported a large number of symptoms before, during and after the acute onset of takotsubo syndrome, including pain, affected breathing, lassitude, malaise and nausea. Several of these have not been reported previously. Symptoms before the acute onset were, even if they had been prominent, ignored by the interviewees for various reasons. During the acute phase, the symptoms could no longer be ignored and the interviewees sought healthcare. The remaining residual symptom after discharge from hospital caused a great deal of worry because the interviewees feared that they would be permanent and they felt they could not live this way. On the whole, becoming ill and having a large number of symptoms greatly impacted the lives of the interviewees and made them re-evaluate how they had been living. Furthermore, they reported feeling alone and lost regarding their symptom burden, especially in relation to their residual symptoms, which affected their health and ability to return to daily life.
CONCLUSIONS: Acute symptoms, and symptoms before and after the acute ones, are a major part of the illness experience for patients with takotsubo syndrome and affect their health and well-being. Assessment of symptoms should be an integrated part of care to promote health. One way of achieving this is through the patients' own narratives of their experiences, which are an important component in person-centred care.

PMID: 27707826 [PubMed - in process]

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