TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients with health care-associated infections (HAIs) suffer social and emotional pain, according to a review published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Kay Currie, Ph.D., from Glasgow Caledonian University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to better understand adult patients’ experiences of common HAIs.

The researchers identified 17 studies (2001 to 2017) from five countries for inclusion. The studies addressed five common types of HAIs. Analysis showed four interrelated themes: the continuum of physical and emotional responses, experiencing the response of health care professionals, adapting to life with an HAI, and the complex cultural context of HAIs. Many patients experienced an emotional response to their diagnosis and described “feeling dirty,” “having the plague,” or “feeling like a leper.” Nearly all patients reported fear about transmitting their infection to others.

“Understanding the patient experience can help health care providers to interact and respond in a constructive way, providing more effective support during this challenging time in a patient’s health care experience,” Currie said in a statement.

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