An Exploratory Study on the Isolation Experience of Patients with Haematological Disorders

Tuesday, 8 July 2008: 10:30 AM
Chung Cheng Hwang, RN, BHSN , Department of Haematology, Ward 72, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore
Xue Qin Lee, RN, Adv, dip, in, Nursing, (Oncology) , Department of Haematology, Ward 54, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore
Kea Tee Ho, RN, Adv, dip, in, Nursing, (Oncology) , Department of Medical Oncology, Ward 48, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore

Learning Objective 1: understand the isolation experiences of haematological patients nursed in isolation from an acute asian hospital.

Learning Objective 2: learn how nurses can help improve the isolation experiences of these patients.

In spite of advances in medical treatment, isolation appears to be an inevitable part of the treatment process of patients with haematological disorders. The benefits of isolation have been well documented but previous studies on the isolation experiences of patients with haematological disorders produced contradicting results.

A qualitative study adopting a face to face semi-structured interview was conducted in a haematological unit of a local acute hospital. Patients who fulfilled the study's inclusive criteria were recruited for the study. Data collection was on day 3 of the participants' isolation. Guiding questions of the interview were developed from Roy's Adaptation model and Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory and served as the framework for data analysis. A pilot study was conducted prior to the commencement of the actual study to verify the validity of the questions. Manually transcribed interview manuscripts were analysed, clustered into themes, compared, consolidated and constructed to answer the research question. Demographic profiles collected were analysed using descriptive statistics of the SPSS software.

Four patients participated in the study and data saturation was achieved by the fourth interview. Five emergent themes were identified from the study. The themes were being isolated; previous isolation experience; coping with isolation; maintaining contact and the presence of loved ones. The support from the family, presence of a caregiver and visits made by loved ones were found to have significantly mediated the effects of isolation. In general, participants of the study found the isolation experience to be manageable but not enjoyable. It was also suggestive that nurses have a considerable role to play in the care of these patients.

The findings suggest that preparing these patients early and providing them with vital information of isolation was found to be of importance in helping them adapt to isolation.