Patients’ Strategies for Coping with Consequences of Blow-Out Fractures of the Orbit

Abstract

Background Coping mechanisms are cognitive and behavioural actions to overcome health problems and their consequences. To understand how patients with blow-out fractures of the orbit cope with the outcome of this injury, it is imperative to recognise the sequence of physical and emotional stress they go through. Patients with blow-out fractures have been found to experience different degrees of negative feelings related to fear and uncertainty. Fear in this case is essentially related to fear of losing vision, inability to work and inability to drive. Uncertainty about the outcome of trauma is an additional fear factor. Objectives to explore coping strategies adapted by patients sustaining orbital blow-out fractures. Materials and Methods a purposive sample with maximum variation (n=21) was taken from patients who were treated for blow-out fractures of the orbit in the Oral and Maxillofacial Department in a secondary care hospital in the United Kingdom. Semistructured interviews were the preferred method for data selection for a logistic reason. Line-by-line coding was employed to generate data, which was organized using the Framework Approach. Data were organized theme by theme and case by case. Principles of Constant Comparative Method were followed for inductive iterative analysis of data. Results both coping strategies; physical (problemfocused) and psychological (emotionally focused) have been identified within our data as being reportedly adopted by patients with blow-out fractures. Knowledge about the injury, treatment of the injury, restoring the sense of life normality helped patients to regain their confidence. Conclusion psychological coping with the consequences of orbital blow-out fractures seems to be achieved through patients’ regaining their confidence. The passage of time after treatment plays a positive role in this respect.