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Being in a critical illness-recovery process: a phenomenological hermenetical study
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (Care, Recovery and Health)
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Uppsala Univ., Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0667-7111
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (Care,Recovery and Health)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3307-6779
2015 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 24, no 23-24, 3494-3502 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims and objective. The aim of this study was to describe and interpret the essential meaning of the lived experiences of being in a critical illness-recovery process after a life-threatening condition. 

Background. The critical illness-recovery process after a life-threatening condition takes several years and does not only include patients' experiences during intensive care. Previous research has mainly focused on what critically ill patients recall. However, from a phenomenological point of view, experiences are more than memories alone. To plan and perform relevant health care and social support for patients who have survived a life-threatening condition, a more profound understanding about their lived experiences is needed. 

Design and method. In this qualitative study, a phenomenological hermeneutical approach was used. Interviews were conducted with seven patients, two to four years after they had received care in an intensive care unit in Sweden. 

Results. The comprehensive understanding of the results shows that the critical illness-recovery process after a life-threatening condition means an existential struggle to reconcile with an unfamiliar body and with ordinary life. This can be understood as an 'unhomelikeness' implying a struggle to create meaning and coherence from scary and fragmented memories. The previous life projects, such as work and social life become unfamiliar when the patient's fragile and weak body is disobedient and brings on altered sensations. 

Conclusions. Patients who survive a life-threatening condition have an immense need for care and support during the entire critical illness-recoveryprocess, and also after the initial acute phase. They need a coherent understanding of what happened, and support to be able to perform their changed life projects. 

Relevance to clinical practice. Supporting and caring for patients' recovery from a life-threatening condition involves recognising the patients' struggle and responding to their existential concerns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 24, no 23-24, 3494-3502 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Health Sciences
Research subject
Care Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-30739DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13002.ISI: 000368277900017Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84976553382OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-30739DiVA: diva2:895067
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Nordgren, LenaAsp, Margareta

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