Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): Knowledge, Learning, and Adaptation
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how people in the community who have MRSA develop their understanding and knowledge about antibiotic resistance. The research design was conducted within a constructivist theoretical framework that allowed their experiences and stories to unfold and be understood. The overall questions that guided the study were, - How do individuals in the general public construct knowledge about MRSA?" and -How do they adapt to their condition?" Purposeful sampling was essential to the recruitment and selection of ten, unique participants. A semi-structured interview-guide ensured collection of information in the same general areas from each interviewee during the one to two hour interviews. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and coded, and themes were developed.The findings revealed two main themes with six subthemes. The first main theme, Learning, revealed the participants experiences with learning about MRSA. Three subthemes were uncovered within this theme: Experiences with MRSA, What was learned? and How did learning occur? The second main theme, Adaptation, had to do with how individuals handled their condition. Three subthemes also surfaced within this theme: Self-reliance, Reliance on others, and Reflections on the MRSA journey.
Several conclusions were drawn from the analysis of this study. First, there appears to be a common model of MRSA learning and adaptation. Second, the nature of adult learning was primarily self-directed, and for some, transformational. Third, the major content learned was general MRSA information, care and prevention, and antibiotic resistance issues. Fourth, the nature of adaptation was interconnected with self and others. Fifth, a consistent message with a step by step plan of how to deal with MRSA from healthcare is important upon diagnosis. The implications for practice and research indicate a need to address issues of how the general public discovers, learns, and adapts to antibiotic resistant infections, especially MRSA. Likewise, this study emphasized the critical importance of informing healthcare professionals and health educators (schools, universities, etc.) about the need for better programs of patient education and continuing education surrounding the pre and post diagnosis of MRSA infections.