Experiencing total pain in burn intensive care units: a meta-ethnographic review

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Background: Critically burned patients and their families experience unbearable pain and suffering. Working in burn intensive care units (Burn ICUs) is also a major cause of emotional distress for healthcare professionals. Although burn-related pain is part of the acute care provided to burned patients, little is known on how to optimally provide suffering relief. Aim: To understand patients, families, and healthcare professionals’ experiences with total pain and its relief in Burn ICUs. Methods: Meta-ethnography of qualitative evidence following PRISMA. Studies were retrieved from 3 databases (PubMed, ISI and EBSCO host searching CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE Complete, and MedicLatina), combining 3 sets of terms (suffering AND burns AND qualitative). Original qualitative studies exploring experiences of critically burned patients, their families and healthcare teams in BurnICUs were included from inception to October 2022. Results: 305 articles retrieved; 10 selected for analysis and synthesis, with 263 participants. 11 themes emerged from the analysis: Patients’ suffering (changed self, mental anguish, physical pain and its management from onset until discharge when it happened, and divergent opinions about sedation); Families’ suffering (navigating through the experience, managing uncertainty about survival, vicarious suffering, and isolation in their “bubble of trauma”); and Nurses’ suffering (stress, compassion fatigue, and burnout). Discussion/Conclusions: This meta-ethnographic review shows that critically burned patients and their families experience total pain. Nurses caring for these patients and their families express signs of physical and emotional suffering. Timely and targeted palliative care could have a positive impact on these patients, families, and professionals, improving care outcomes. Further research is needed to determine how healthcare systems can best optimise palliative care provision to critically burned patients and their families to address their experience of total pain.
Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (de-até)159-160
Número de páginas1
RevistaPalliative Medicine
Número de emissão1
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 7 jun. 2023
Evento18th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care -
Duração: 15 jun. 202317 jun. 2023

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