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Penny J Furness
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 14, Iss. 12, 23 Jun 2005, pp 641 - 645

Research suggests that an important determinant of psychosocial outcomes following disfiguring surgery is social support. Healthcare professionals are in a position to offer emotional support to patients undergoing surgery, but evidence regarding the experience of supportive care among facial surgery patients is sparse. This study explored the experiences of facial surgery patients and their friends or family with regard to support from healthcare professionals. Twenty-nine facial surgery patients and nine significant others (eight marital partners and one close family member) participated in indepth interviews and focus groups, and the data were analysed using a grounded theory form of coding. Analysis identified three main categories of support: informational, practical and emotional. Findings also showed discrepancies between patientsí need for emotional support and provision by healthcare staff.

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