In an effort to strengthen health care professionals' ability to anticipate and address multiple trauma patients' needs, this study aims to explore the experience of suffering from multiple trauma.
This is a qualitative descriptive study. Nine interviews were analysed using content analysis.
The study included patients who had been registered in the Swedish Intensive Care registry [SIR] due to suffering multiple trauma.
The analysis revealed one theme, A detour in life, based on three sub-themes: (a) Feeling lost and not knowing what to expect, (b) Striving to get life back on track and (c) Dealing with 'dead ends' during rehabilitation. The theme showed that those who suffered multiple trauma did not know what to expect of their recovery and they expressed experiencing a lack of understanding and guidance from healthcare professionals. As it was important to focus on the present and find ways to move on in life, they sought for other ways to find direction in matters of rehabilitation and care.
A shared understanding is essential in order to define a person's needs. By setting short-term goals and improving documentation, healthcare professionals across the trauma recovery continuum could more easily gain insight of their patients' needs and address them with supportive guidance.