An exploration of treatment burden and patient capacity in people with stroke

Gallacher, Katie I. (2016) An exploration of treatment burden and patient capacity in people with stroke. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Background and aims: Advances in modern medicine have led to improved outcomes after stroke, yet an increased treatment burden has been placed on patients. Treatment burden is the workload of health care for people with chronic illness and the impact that this has on functioning and well-being. Those with comorbidities are likely to be particularly burdened. Excessive treatment burden can negatively affect outcomes. Individuals are likely to differ in their ability to manage health problems and follow treatments, defined as patient capacity. The aim of this thesis was to explore the experience of treatment burden for people who have had a stroke and the factors that influence patient capacity.

Methods: There were four phases of research. 1) A systematic review of the qualitative literature that explored the experience of treatment burden for those with stroke. Data were analysed using framework synthesis, underpinned by Normalisation Process Theory (NPT). 2) A cross-sectional study of 1,424,378 participants >18 years, demographically representative of the Scottish population. Binary logistic regression was used to analyse the relationship between stroke and the presence of comorbidities and prescribed medications. 3) Interviews with twenty-nine individuals with stroke, fifteen analysed by framework analysis underpinned by NPT and fourteen by thematic analysis. The experience of treatment burden was explored in depth along with factors that influence patient capacity. 4) Integration of findings in order to create a conceptual model of treatment burden and patient capacity in stroke.

Results: Phase 1) A taxonomy of treatment burden in stroke was created. The following broad areas of treatment burden were identified: making sense of stroke management and planning care; interacting with others including health professionals, family and other stroke patients; enacting management strategies; and reflecting on management. Phase 2) 35,690 people (2.5%) had a diagnosis of stroke and of the 39 co-morbidities examined, 35 were significantly more common in those with stroke. The proportion of those with stroke that had >1 additional morbidities present (94.2%) was almost twice that of controls (48%) (odds ratio (OR) adjusted for age, gender and socioeconomic deprivation; 95% confidence interval: 5.18; 4.95-5.43) and 34.5% had 4-6 comorbidities compared to 7.2% of controls (8.59; 8.17-9.04). In the stroke group, 12.6% of people had a record of >11 repeat prescriptions compared to only 1.5% of the control group (OR adjusted for age, gender, deprivation and morbidity count: 15.84; 14.86-16.88). Phase 3) The taxonomy of treatment burden from Phase 1 was verified and expanded. Additionally, treatment burdens were identified as arising from either: the workload of healthcare; or the endurance of care deficiencies. A taxonomy of patient capacity was created. Six factors were identified that influence patient capacity: personal attributes and skills; physical and cognitive abilities; support network; financial status; life workload, and environment. A conceptual model of treatment burden was created. Healthcare workload and the presence of care deficiencies can influence and be influenced by patient capacity. The quality and configuration of health and social care services influences healthcare workload, care deficiencies and patient capacity.

Conclusions: This thesis provides important insights into the considerable treatment burden experienced by people who have had a stroke and the factors that affect their capacity to manage health. Multimorbidity and polypharmacy are common in those with stroke and levels of these are high. Findings have important implications for the design of clinical guidelines and healthcare delivery, for example co-ordination of care should be improved, shared decision-making enhanced, and patients better supported following discharge from hospital.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Stroke, Cerebrovascular Accident, treatment burden, patient capacity, patient experience, qualitative, cross-sectional, multimorbidity, comorbidity, polypharmacy.
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Funder's Name: Scottish Executive Health Department (SEHHD-CSO)
Supervisor's Name: Mair, Prof. Frances S. and May, Prof. Carl R. and Batty, Dr. David and Langhorne, Prof. Peter
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Dr Katie Gallacher
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7736
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2016 14:58
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2016 08:48

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