A systematic review and meta-synthesis of the qualitative literature exploring the experiences and quality of life of survivors of a cardiac arrest

Gunilla Haydon, Pamela van der Riet, Kerry Inder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Survival following cardiac arrest and subsequent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is increasing worldwide, mainly due to greater awareness of the symptoms of cardiac events and an increased attention to CPR training. Although patient outcomes remain unpredictable and quantitative studies suggest that the overall quality of life (QOL) is acceptable, it is valuable to synthesise qualitative studies exploring these phenomena in depth, providing a deeper knowledge of survivors' experiences and QOL.
Aims: To critically appraise and synthesise the qualitative literature on survivors' experiences of a cardiac arrest and CPR with the aim of identifying common themes that can inform clinical pathways and thereby improve survivor outcomes and QOL.
Methods: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of the qualitative literature, using Thomas and Harden's framework, and confined to peer-reviewed papers published from 2000 to 2015, which were identified through database searches of EBSCO, OVID and ProQuest.
Results: The search produced 204 papers, and of these, seven relevant papers were identified for review. Data extraction included setting, participants, research design, data collection, analysis and themes. Five qualitative themes were identified and were the subject of this meta-synthesis: multitude of contrasting feelings; disruption in the continuum of time; new reality and psychological challenges; changed body with new limitations; and confrontation with death.
Conclusion: This review provides insights into the experiences of survivors' QOL after CPR. Increased knowledge can improve person-centred care in the immediate and forthcoming care after the event, both in terms of planning for discharge and in the future care of people who survive a cardiac arrest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2017

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