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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
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. Region Västmanland.
Refion Dalarna.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. (Care, Recovery & Health)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-577X
2020 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: To describe lived experiences of spirituality fromthe perspective of people who have been subject to inpa-tient psychiatric care and to interpret these experiencesfrom an understanding of health as dialectical.Methods: After approval from a regional ethical board,eleven participants were recruited from two organisationsfor people with mental health problems. Participantswere asked to narrate about spiritual experiences andoccasions where such experiences had come close. Thetranscribed interviews were analysed by means of a phe-nomenological hermeneutical approach.Findings: A structural analysis of the text resulted inthree themes; perceiving the presence of something extramundane, making sense of reality and struggling foracceptance. The comprehensive understanding highlightsspiritual experiences as going beyond religion, eventhough religious experiences appear as part of it. Theseexperiences can indeed be a resource contributing toexperiences of hope, connectedness, meaning and coher-ence in life. However, they can also give rise to doubt,anxiety and feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.Rather than understanding spiritual experiences as beingeither ‘good’ or ‘bad’, we could approach spirituality assomething that is always present in alternate and inter-related forms. Metaphorically, this could be understoodas a ‘near-life experience’, summarising participants’experiences related to their struggle with issues related tosuffering and health which are simultaneously present.Conclusions: If psychiatric nurses could approach thiscomplexity and, without being judgemental, exploreseemingly positive and negative experiences of spiritual-ity as dialectically related to each other, rather thanviewing them as either resources or problems, this couldcontribute to insiderness care and hopefully also supportpeople who struggle with these experiences to seek helpwhen needed

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
existential experiences, mental health, pa-tient perspective, phenomenological hermeneutics, psy-chiatry, spirituality
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Care Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-47864DOI: 10.1111/scs.12863OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-47864DiVA, id: diva2:1428082
Available from: 2020-05-04 Created: 2020-05-04 Last updated: 2020-05-04

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

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