AN EXPLORATION INTO SERVICE USER AND CARER’S EXPERIENCES WITH TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR POSTURAL CARE
Background: Inappropriate 24hrPC can cause severe and life-threatening complications as well as reducing the service user’s ability to participate in activities. This qualitative research project aims to explore service user and carer’s experiences with 24-hour postural care (24hrPC) in order to better inform staff working on the Posture Management Steering Group in Lothian. Method: This study used a phenomenological approach to account for accurate representation of the service users’ lived experiences with 24hrPC. This was done through 6 semi-structured interviews using a topic guide, three with service users and three with carers speaking on behalf of their adult children. These interviews were then transcribed, taking care to remove any identifiable information and interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) was applied to interpret the data. Results: Overall, six themes from service users were identified and 7 themes with associated sub-themes were identified from carers. The main findings highlighted the importance of the relationship developed between staff and service users and how it affects the delivery of 24hrPC. They also emphasised that equipment is essential for everyday life but that there are various challenges with provision of appropriate equipment and support from professionals. Communication was highlighted as being a key factor in 24hrPC but could be a barrier when not occurring between professionals. Conclusion: This study highlighted several areas for further research which should focus on; the benefits of increased 24hrPC training for staff, development of an assessment tool for referrals, quality evidence evaluating night time positioning equipment and a stronger focus on service user’s thoughts and experiences with 24hrPC.It would also be beneficial to confirm the findings of this research in a larger-scale study and to consider interviewing service users and their unpaid carer together to increase accuracy of data.