Having a retro-auricular left ventricular assist device (LVAD) requires patients to learn specific self-care behaviors, with a considerable burden; the present study aimed at exploring and describing the experience of self-care in this population. An Interpretive Description was conducted, informing the analysis with the Middle-Range Theory of Self-care of Chronic Illness. A purposeful sample of ten people with a retro-auricular LVAD participated in in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Four themes were identified: Innovations and Limitations in Daily Life, Problems Detection, Response to Problems, and Learning Process. All of these were deeply influenced by a cross-cutting theme: Support System. People with a retro-auricular LVAD have self-care needs different from those of people with heart failure or with the abdominal version of the device, and there is a great need for targeted intervention that could be developed in consideration of our findings.
Self-care in Adults With a Retro-auricular Left Ventricular Assist Device: An Interpretive Description. Trenta AM, Luciani M, Moro M, Patella S, Di Mauro S, Vellone E, Ausili D. Clin Nurs Res. 2021 Dec 10:10547738211063538. doi: 10.1177/1054773821106353