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A ‘near‐life experience’: lived experiences of spirituality from the perspective of people who have been subject to inpatient psychiatric care
Integrierte Psychiatrie Winterthur - Zürcher Unterland, Winterthur, Switzerland..
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Division of Psychiatry, County Council of Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
Division of Psychiatry, County Council of Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway. (Care, Recovery & Health)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-577X
2021 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 35, no 2, p. 512-520Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: To describe lived experiences of spirituality from the perspective of people who have been subject to inpatient psychiatric care and to interpret these experiences from an understanding of health as dialectical.

Methods: After approval from a regional ethical board, eleven participants were recruited from two organisations for people with mental health problems. Participants were asked to narrate about spiritual experiences and occasions where such experiences had come close. The transcribed interviews were analysed by means of a phenomenological hermeneutical approach.

Findings: A structural analysis of the text resulted in three themes; perceiving the presence of something extra mundane, making sense of reality and struggling for acceptance. The comprehensive understanding highlights spiritual experiences as going beyond religion, even though religious experiences appear as part of it. These experiences can indeed be a resource contributing to experiences of hope, connectedness, meaning and coherence in life. However, they can also give rise to doubt, anxiety and feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Rather than understanding spiritual experiences as being either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, we could approach spirituality as something that is always present in alternate and inter-related forms. Metaphorically, this could be understood as a ‘near-life experience’, summarising participants’ experiences related to their struggle with issues related to suffering and health which are simultaneously present.

Conclusions: If psychiatric nurses could approach this complexity and, without being judgemental, explore seemingly positive and negative experiences of spirituality as dialectically related to each other, rather than viewing them as either resources or problems, this could contribute to insiderness care and hopefully also support people who struggle with these experiences to seek help when needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 35, no 2, p. 512-520
Keywords [en]
existential experiences, mental health, patient perspective, phenomenological hermeneutics, psychiatry, spirituality
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Health Sciences
Research subject
Care Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-47864DOI: 10.1111/scs.12863ISI: 000527960600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85084129071OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-47864DiVA, id: diva2:1428082
Available from: 2020-05-04 Created: 2020-05-04 Last updated: 2022-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textScopushttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/scs.12863

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Rönning, SoniaWiklund, Lena

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