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An exploration of formal care from the perspective of middle-aged heart failure patients
Mälardalen University, Department of Caring and Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0667-7111
Mälardalen University, Department of Caring and Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3307-6779
Mälardalen University, Department of Caring and Public Health Sciences.
2007 (Swedish)In: European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: Volume 6, Supplement 1, Pages S1-S58 (March 2007), 2007Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose

To explore and describe the phenomenon: Formal care from the perspective of middle-aged persons living with HF.

Methods

Data was collected in seven unstructured interviews with middle-aged people (four men, three women) living with moderate-severe HF. It was analysed using a phenomenological approach.

Results

People with HF are dependent on care and treatment. Formal care, in the form of medication or other treatments, balances the life situation and gives hope for relief and access to a rich and meaningful life again. Care, thus, means hope for a change or improvement and makes life possible to live.

Within the context of formal care patients are able to surrender to a secure retreat. When they surrender to care they should be the ones to whom care is given, but instead they turn into objects to be examined and treated, almost as if they were not there. As carers reduce patients to objects, to someone or something which is categorised, treated or informed on basis of standard guidelines, they feel powerless and that they have no value in the carer's eyes. The patients feel betrayed and they do not trust or rely on carers or on the care that they receive and need.

Formal care is performed within an organisation with a structure which patients perceive as unclear. It is an organisation in which individuals are not seen or the individual's needs are not provided for. The organisation is to a great extent governed by routines, financial values and bureaucracy. The hospital environment and its routines depersonalise patients, which increases their feelings of uncertainty towards carers and to the caregiving organisation. Patients experience that carers expect them to be active in their health process and to participate in decision-making, but nobody clearly explain to them what they are up against, what they have do deal with. Instead of an opportunity to gain increased access to life, which in spite of illness and limits can be a bearable and meaningful life, patients are left with confusion and existential uncertainty.

Conclusion

Demands on high quality medical care signify that routines and recommendations must be followed. However, there is a danger, if care is performed solely on basis of routines and recommendations, that carers disregard the uniqueness in each patient's life situation. Carers need to find approaches to formal care that acknowledges individuals and at the same time ensures good quality medical care for patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007.
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-2919DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2007.01.004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-2919DiVA, id: diva2:115582
Conference
The 7th Annual Cardiovascular Nursing Spring Meeting of the European Society of Cardiology Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions
Available from: 2008-02-12 Created: 2008-02-12 Last updated: 2013-11-20

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Publisher's full texthttp://ep.bib.mdh.se:2106/science/journal/14745151

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Nordgren, LenaAsp, Margareta

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