Understanding spasticity from patients’ perspectives over time
Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 68, Issue 11, pages 2504–2514, November 2012
How to Cite
Bhimani, R. H., McAlpine, C. P. and Henly, S. J. (2012), Understanding spasticity from patients’ perspectives over time. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68: 2504–2514. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.05949.x
- Issue published online: 24 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
- Accepted for publication 14 January 2012
- qualitative research;
- upper motor neuron disease
bhimani r.h., mc alpine c.p. & henly s.j. (2012) Understanding spasticity from patients’ perspectives over time. Journal of Advanced Nursing68(11), 2504–2514.
Aim. The purpose of this paper was to report patients’ understanding and perceptions of personal spasticity experiences over time.
Background. Spasticity is an unpleasant and poorly understood experience associated with upper motor neuron disease.
Design. An original qualitative study was conducted in 2008–2009.
Method. Content analysis was used to extract meaning from the responses of 23 patients to semi-structured interviews during 7 days of acute rehabilitation for neurological diseases associated with spasticity.
Findings. Patients used words reflecting muscle tone and spasms to describe spasticity.
Themes reflecting the spasticity experience over time were Ambiguous Experiences, Navigating Symptom Experience, Wounded Self, and Unending Journey.
Conclusion. Spasticity as experienced is complex, involving a wide range of unusual sensations sensitive to stressors in everyday life. Clinical evaluation of spasticity should include patient reports. Knowledge about patient word choice used to describe spasticity can enhance communication with healthcare providers.