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Entrusting life to professionals: A phenomenological hermeneutical study of older persons' participation in prehospital emergency care involving municipal home care and ambulance services
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5758-7610
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3068-5384
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3307-6779
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0242-0343
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2023 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Background: Participation in care is considered to promote safe and qualitative care. Care-dependent older persons ageing in place have increased emergency care needs, which initiate inter-organisational collaboration involving municipal home care and ambulance services. Previous research concludes that uncertainties exist regarding what participation in care means in clinical practice, which necessitates the need to illuminate the phenomenon for older persons in critical life situations.

Aim: This study aimed to illuminate meanings of participation in prehospital emergency care from the perspective of care-dependent older persons experiencing acute illness at home.

Design: This study has a qualitative design with a lifeworld approach.

Method: A phenomenological hermeneutical method was used to analyse transcribed telephone interviews with eleven care-dependent persons aged 70–93 years.

Results: Care-dependent older persons' participation in prehospital emergency care means ‘Entrusting life to professional caregivers’ when being in helpless solitude and existentially unsafe, which emphasises a deepened interpersonal dependence. Meanings of participation in care from the perspective of older persons involve Being reassured in togetherness, Being pliant in trust of emergency expertise, Being enabled through the agency of professional caregivers, and Encountering readiness in the emergency care chain.

Conclusion: Care-dependent older persons' participation in prehospital emergency care is existential and involves interpersonal dependence. Togetherness brings reassurance, safety and opportunity for emotional rest while accessing the professional caregivers' power, competence and abilities which provide opportunities for existence and movement towards well-being and continued living.

Implications for practice: Prehospital emergency care from the perspective of care-dependent older persons transcends organisational boundaries and includes the municipal mobile safety alarm service. The involved municipal and regional organisations need to provide support by implementing lifeworld-led care models and care alternatives that enable professionals to recognise the existential dimension of participation in care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley and Sons Inc , 2023.
Keywords [en]
ambulance services, home care services, mobile safety alarm, older persons, participation in care, phenomenological hermeneutical method, prehospital emergency care
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-64750DOI: 10.1111/scs.13223ISI: 001095083000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85175615979OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-64750DiVA, id: diva2:1812318
Available from: 2023-11-15 Created: 2023-11-15 Last updated: 2024-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Hjalmarsson, AnnaÖstlund, GunnelAsp, MargaretaKerstis, BirgittaHolmberg, Mats

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