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The Recovery Phase in Guillain-Barré Syndrome: Moving From Dependency to Independence

Authors

  • Janet Fay Cooke RN BSc,

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    • Janet Fay Cooke is a palliative community nurse with Silver Chain Hospice Care Service in Perth, Western Australia. Angelica Orb is a senior lecturer at the Curtin University of Technology Western Australia School of Nursing in Perth, Western Australia.

  • Angelica Orb PhD RN MACE Alpha Chi

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    • Janet Fay Cooke is a palliative community nurse with Silver Chain Hospice Care Service in Perth, Western Australia. Angelica Orb is a senior lecturer at the Curtin University of Technology Western Australia School of Nursing in Perth, Western Australia.


32 Ritson Way, Parkwood, Western Australia, 6147, Australia, or e-mail cooke318@ozemail.com.au.

Abstract

In this study, we examined the perspectives of patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome during their recovery phase. We used a grounded theory approach. Five patients discharged from a major teaching hospital were interviewed; the format was semi-structured. Data were analyzed through a constant comparative method. We describe the central theme of moving from dependency to independence. There are five phases in the recovery process: experiencing dependency, encountering helplessness, wanting to know more about GBS, discovering inner strength, and regaining independence. Moving from dependency to independence was facilitated by the patients' discovery of their inner strengths. Regaining their independence was facilitated by their strong desire to walk out of the hospital. Patients realized that they had little knowledge about their illness and prognosis; further research in this area would be beneficial.

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