Blood transfusion in haematology: A qualitative exploration of patients' and healthcare professionals' perceptions.
Volkmer B., Lorencatto F., Stanworth SJ., Hirani SP., Francis JJ.
ObjectivesRepeated blood transfusions are indicated for the management of patients with cancer or blood disorders. Patients' perceptions about transfusions may be associated with decision-making and coping, which has been under-explored in the haematology context. This study therefore aimed to explore haematology transfusion patients' and HCPs' perceptions of blood transfusion, drawing on theory and previously identified themes of transfusion perceptions.DesignSemi-structured interview study with 14 adult blood transfusion patients and 14 HCPs (consultants, registrars, nurses) at two UK haematology units.MethodsPatient- and HCP-tailored topic guides were developed based on themes of blood transfusion perceptions identified in a systematic review: 'Health benefits', 'Safety/risk', 'Negative emotions', 'Alternatives' 'Decision making' and 'Necessity'. Transcripts were analysed using deductive and thematic analysis. Patient and HCP themes were compared using triangulation methods. Conceptual models (one for patients, one for HCPs) specific to haematology portraying the association between themes were developed.ResultsFindings for patients and HCPs converged with transfusion reported as beneficial for patients, who were largely involved in the decision-making. Both groups also reported concerns about transfusion, including iron-overload, allergic reactions and challenges to deliver transfusions in time-pressurized services. Themes in the conceptual models included patient 'Burden' of receiving repeated transfusions and 'Supportive relationships', reflective of patients' positive interactions with other patients and HCPs in the haematology unit.ConclusionDespite the challenges for patients receiving repeated transfusions, convergent perceptions suggest a shared understanding of patients' transfusion experiences. Identified challenges could inform ways to improve transfusion services and patients' experiences.