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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The immobilization experience : perceptions of young adults with anterior cruciate ligament repair Turner, Liza Jean


This study was designed to investigate how young adults with anterior cruciate ligament repair perceive the immobilization experience. The concerns confronting individuals following hospitalization may affect their rehabilitation and return to musculoskeletal functioning, in which case nurses must understand these concerns in order to provide appropriate care. A qualitative research approach based on the theoretical perspective of phenomenology was used to answer the questions posed in this study. Ten participants were interviewed at home approximately 1, 3 and 4 weeks post-operatively. Indepth unstructured interviews were transcribed and analyzed immediately following each interview. The findings of the study revealed that the participants' immobilization experience occurred in phases which were interrelated, and evolved around the event of injury. Six phases were identified: (a) pre-injury, (b) recognition of injury, (c) contact with the health care system, (d) hospital experience, (e) home experience, and (f) future plans. Additionally, three major themes or concepts emerged—loss, hope, and rehabilitation, and together with the phases of the experience, formed the organizational schema for the study. The analytic concepts assisted the researcher in making sense of the experience from the participants' perspective. Loss, hope, and rehabilitation appeared with varying intensity in one or more of the phases of the immobilization experience. It is argued that the identified concerns should be incorporated into individualized nursing care and rehabilitation plans. Implications of the research findings for nursing practice, education, and research are presented.

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