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Octogenarian patients’ sleep and delirium experiences in hospital and four years after aortic valve replacement: a qualitative interview study

  • Amofah, Hege Andersen1
  • Broström, Anders2, 3
  • Instenes, Irene1
  • Fridlund, Bengt1, 4
  • Haaverstad, Rune1, 5
  • Kuiper, Karel1
  • Ranhoff, Anette Hylen5
  • Norekvål, Tone M.1, 5
  • 1 Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway , Bergen (Norway)
  • 2 Jönköping University, Jonkoping, Sweden , Jonkoping (Sweden)
  • 3 Linkoping University Faculty of Medicine, Linkoping, Sweden , Linkoping (Sweden)
  • 4 Linnaeus University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Kalmar, Sweden , Kalmar (Sweden)
  • 5 University of Bergen Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Bergen, Norway , Bergen (Norway)
Published Article
BMJ Open
Publication Date
Jan 07, 2021
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039959
PMID: 33414142
PMCID: PMC7797265
PubMed Central
  • 1506
  • 1683


Objectives Sleep disturbances and delirium are frequently observed complications after surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) and transcutaneous aortic valve implantation (TAVI), especially in octogenarian patients. However, a knowledge gap exists on patient experiences of sleep and delirium. In particular, patients’ long-term sleep and delirium experiences are unknown. This article explores and describes how octogenarian patients suffering from delirium after aortic valve replacement experience their sleep and delirium situation. Design An explorative and descriptive design with a longitudinal qualitative approach was applied. Qualitative content analysis following the recommended steps of Graneheim and Lundman was performed. Setting Patients were included at a tertiary university hospital with 1400 beds. Delirium and insomnia screening was performed at baseline and five postoperative days after aortic valve treatment. For qualitative data, 10 patients were interviewed 6–12 months after treatment with focus on delirium. Five of these patients were reinterviewed 4 years after treatment, with focus on their sleep situation. Participants Inclusion criteria; age 80+, treated with SAVR or TAVI and had experienced delirium after treatment. Results For the initial interview, we included five men and five women, four following TAVI and six following SAVR, mean age 83. One overarching theme revealed from the content analyses; Hours in bed represented emotional chaos . Whereas three subthemes described the patients’ experiences with sleep and delirium, a cascade of distressful experiences disturbing sleep, the struggle between sleep and activity and elements influencing sleep . Four years after the treatment, sleep disturbances persisted, and patients still remembered strongly the delirium incidences. Conclusions For octogenarian patients, sleep disturbances and delirium are long-term burdens and need a greater attention in order to improve patient care.

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