Introduction: Despite guidance, audit shows poor oxygen prescribing and administration practices prevail. It is proposed that an influencing culture exists, whereby oxygen is used in most acute clinical presentations, and to alleviate breathlessness; irrespective of blood oxygen status. But there is no evidence supporting this claim. Aim: To explore healthcare professionals' (HCPs) and patients' perceptions of oxygen therapy. Method: Semi-structured interviews with 28 patients and 33 HCPs (nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and general practitioners) were recorded, transcribed and analysed iteratively using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results: Three master themes were identified: oxygen as a panacea, the burden of oxygen and antecedents to beliefs. Sub-themes under these constants differed between HCPs and patients, but fundamentally both groups viewed oxygen as an innocuous therapy with numerous benefits. Patients used oxygen for breathlessness and as an enabler; they were grateful to the oxygen and accepted it as part of the disease. HCPs used oxygen because it helps patients; it works; it makes HCPs feel better, and out of compassion. But oxygen is not benign and a burden is evident, for patients it makes the disease visible. For HCPs there is awareness of the patients' burden which often results in clinical dilemmas and an emotional cost to caring. The study exposed patients' antecedents to beliefs as faith in HCPs and past experiences; for HCPs entrenched culture and expectations preside. Conclusions: A common perception that oxygen is a universal remedy is evident, but, at times, is contradictory. There are psychosocial and emotional costs to HCPs and patients.
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2015|
|Event||ERS International Congress 2015 - Amsterdam, Netherlands|
Duration: 27 Sep 2015 → …
|Conference||ERS International Congress 2015|
|Period||27/09/15 → …|