Health service research traditionally has relied on quantitative methodologies that view the question from the researcher’s perspective. Exploring the question of what it is like to receive intravenous therapy at home has required investigation into what is known about home IV therapy and the impact on the patient in particular. The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the recipient’s lived experience of home IV therapy using a research approach that preserves the uniqueness of the experience from the recipient’s perspective. The method involved conducting in-depth interviews with a sample of 26 recipients of home IV therapy throughout Tasmania, Australia. Interviews were analyzed using an interpretative process, with the participants describing a process thatincluded the main themes of “having a life” and “the hazards of hospitalization.” The main goals of the work are to heighten nurses’ and other healthcare professionals’ understanding and awareness of home IV therapy from the consumer perspective and to address the lack of patient/consumer advocacy and exploration within the evaluative literature available on this subject.
Sarah Breier is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Total Parenteral Nutrition/Vascular Access at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Tasmania, Australia. She holds a Master of Nursing degree and is undertaking doctoral studies in Bioethics at the University of Tasmania. This paper was presented at the 4th New Zealand Intravenous Nurses Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, March 1998.