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Being Met as marked – patients’ experiences of being infected with community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Journal article
Authors Eva Skyman
Berit Lindahl
Ingegerd Bergbom
Harrieth Thunberg Sjöström
Christina Åhrén
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Volume 30
Issue 4
Pages 813-820
ISSN 0283-9318
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 813-820
Language en
Keywords MRSA, experiences, infection
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences


Background It is known that patients who acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in hospitals suffer and feel as plague. Moreover, the patient interaction with nurses and physicians is described as frightening. Little is known about patient experiences after having acquired CA-MRSA concerning care and everyday life. Aim To reveal and interpret otherwise healthy patients’ lived experiences of receiving care and their everyday life after having acquired community MRSA (CA-MRSA). Methods A phenomenological hermeneutic approach guided by Ricouer was conducted. Interviews with twelve patients were transcribed verbatim into a text. The text was analysed in three phases: naive understanding, structural analysis and comprehensive understanding to reveal a possible being in the world. In this study, this referred to what it means to be infected with CA-MRSA. Results The findings indicate that patients who acquired MRSA experience a changed body image. They suffer from ignorant and frightened behavior from healthcare workers, social contacts, and also of being bullied by colleagues. Despite this, patients assume great responsibility for protecting others. However, knowledgeable staff alleviate suffering and bring peace of mind to the patients. Conclusions Preventing patient's feelings of being a pest, an outsider living with fear, requires urgent education and understanding about resistant bacteria and how to meet an infected patient. The results describing patients, affected with MRSA, may contribute and touch the readers to better understanding of patient's changed body image and suffering and how to mitigate these feelings.

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