Orthopaedic patients' experience of motor vehicle accident in Singapore


  • K.L. Tan mn (ortho nrsg), bn, rn,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sessional Tutor, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Victoria University, Doncaster East,
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  • L.M. Lim phd, mn, ba, bn, rscn, rn,

    1. Lecturer/Course Coordinator of Pre-Registration Course for Overseas Qualified & Re-entry Nurses/Course Coordinator of Post Graduate programme in Paediatric Nursing,
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  • L.H. Chiu d r.ed, mns, bappsc(nrsg.ed), rn, rm, orthonrsgcert (hons)

    1. Lecturer/Post Graduate Course Coordinator/Course Coordinator of Orthopaedic Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Victoria University, PO Box 1448, Melbourne, Vic., Australia
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Kim Lai Tan, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Victoria University, 71 Long Valley Way, Doncaster East, VIC 3109, Australia; Tel: +614 1124 6045; E-mail: kim_laitan@yahoo.com.sg.


Aim:  The purpose of this paper is to present a study that explored the experiences of orthopaedic patients injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), from the time of the accident until 6 months after being discharged from hospital.

Background:  Trauma injuries from MVAs are increasing, with the number of deaths from such injuries continuing to rise. Victims often sustain open fractures to more than one part of their body and need rehabilitation and support to adjust to long-term chronic or permanent disability. In the last decade, research pertaining to trauma nursing has concentrated on neurologically injured patients. Although there is a paucity of research on the nursing perspective of psychological care for non-neurologically injured patients, the majority of studies located were mainly quantitative in nature and did not analyse the personal experiences of orthopaedic patients.

Method:  A qualitative naturalistic inquiry approach was used, which provided a first-hand account of the traumatic MVA event experienced by six orthopaedic participants in Singapore. Data were collected from face-to-face in-depth interviews. Participants were voluntarily recruited through purposeful sampling and ‘snowballing’. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim in preparation for analysis.

Findings:  The analysis of information explicated four main themes: the experience of the event, the effect of hospitalization, surviving the event and self-transformation.

Conclusion:  The study provided an understanding of orthopaedic patients' experience of MVA in Singapore. The findings of the study have the potential to contribute to the limited qualitative research available concerning victims' experiences of MVAs and nurses caring for MVA victims.