How satisfied have you been with your care?

5th August 2019

This article is taken from our July issue of My Life magazine. You can read the whole magazine here, or to subscribe to receive a free copy via email or post please sign up here.

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Support group leader Jenny Taylor’s research suggests patients who are unhappy with the level of care they receive when first diagnosed are prone to feeling stressed, anxious and depressed.

Cardiomyopathy UK volunteer Jenny Taylor, 26, from Cheshire, is carrying out research with both cardiologists and newly diagnosed patients into the impact a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy has on patients, carers and family members.

Jenny was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) as a baby and had an ICD fitted as a teenager. While researching for her psychology degree dissertation in 2016, the mother-of-one spoke to 200 cardiomyopathy patients about the psychological impact of having the condition and found a significantly high prevalence of clinically severe and extremely severe levels of stress, anxiety and depression for those with all types of the condition.

As she explains: “My degree helped me to fulfil a lifelong dream to become an ‘expert’ in the field of health psychology and I now want to continue using my research to discover new ways health services can be improved to help others.”

Jenny, who also helps run the Cheshire and Merseyside Cardiomyopathy Support Group, is carrying out her latest research, while completing her PhD in health psychology.

In a bid to better understand the cardiomyopathy diagnosis process, Jenny has looked at different UK hospitals; the diagnostic process; how patients are assessed and how their diagnosis is explained to them.
“My initial findings show that although the diagnosis of cardiomyopathy is often broadly correct, the explanation that has been given to the patient is very limited, sometimes non-existing, and occasionally incorrect,” she reveals.

To read the full article in our July edition of My Life, click here.