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Patient narratives of illnesses requiring abdominal surgery in Cambodia: Heroic/stoic, and dealing with ‘the ball of meat’

Page, W ORCID: 0000-0001-7335-5476, Murray, L ORCID: 0000-0001-6585-235X, Phun, K and Turner, R ORCID: 0000-0002-2276-8999 2019 , 'Patient narratives of illnesses requiring abdominal surgery in Cambodia: Heroic/stoic, and dealing with ‘the ball of meat’' , Global Public Health , pp. 1-13 , doi: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1636113.

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This study describes the illness narratives that inform treatment-seekingbehaviours for acute abdominal conditions in Cambodia, and therebyexplores factors impeding the timely delivery of surgical intervention.Semi-structured qualitative interviews were undertaken with patientswho had undergone abdominal surgery at Siem Reap Provincial Hospitalbetween 2011 and 2014. Interviews collected basic demographicinformation and also patient narratives based on Groleau’s McGill IllnessNarrative Interview (MINI). Interviews were contemporaneouslytranslated from Khmer to English and recorded for transcription. Acontent analysis of interview transcripts based on narrative enquiry wasundertaken. Ninety-seven patients participated in the study and fivethemes emerged from the data. These were: Explanatory models aboutthe causes of abdominal pain and effects of surgery; Pre-surgerystoicism and illness management; Fear of poor outcomes and death;Burden of treatment costs and anticipated recovery time; and,Enhancing community trust in surgery. Our findings add the patientvoice to the limited evidence about access to surgery, and socio-culturaland financial barriers affecting treatment-seeking behaviours inCambodia. By understanding the collective narratives surroundingexperiences of abdominal surgery, efforts to improve surgical services inCambodia may be better informed of the reasons patients delay treatment.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Page, W and Murray, L and Phun, K and Turner, R
Keywords: Cambodia, surgery, treatment-seeking behaviour, anaesthetic
Journal or Publication Title: Global Public Health
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1744-1692
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1636113
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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