The starting point being the established understanding of rehabilitation as a cross disciplinary field circumscribed by broader political and health professional issues, the paper discusses the rehabilitation of elderly persons from conceptual and phenomenological perspectives.
Textbooks from the period 1996 to 2005 are examined in order to define the understanding of the nursing profession’s concept of rehabilitation. Sections with a gerontological perspective on rehabilitation following hip replacement are selected for discussion.
Although essential to the knowledge base and practice of nursing, the finding was that the textbook literature describes a concept of rehabilitation which does not take into account the research and reflective understandings.
We offer our interpretation of rehabilitation as a theme in health philosophy thinking, maintaining that essential themes for consideration in gerontological nursing include aspects such as: A holistic view of the maintenance of body functions, dignity and identity, and the dialectics of fragility and strength in the elderly person.
This study discusses rehabilitation in a phenomenological light. Desiring to pursue the patient perspective, we conducted qualitative interviews with six elderly patients who were rehabilitated in their own homes following total hip replacement. The interviews were based on Max van Manen’s phenomenological methodology with its focus on the life-world as described through patients’ experiences of time, space, body, and interpersonal relations.
The united theme being ‘remaining in the current of life’, the discussion leads us to insist on a nursing perspective integrating aspects such as the maintenance of body functions, dignity and identity, and the dialectics of fragility and strength in the rehabilitation of the elderly. Rather than focusing exclusively on participation and function-related activity, nursing work should integrate life phenomena in their own rights. This approach to rehabilitation represents a discussion of the prevalent ideas of self care.
The aim of this article is to describe how patients experience a 14 days stay in a geriatric rehabilitation ward with focus on what they experience as important for „good rehabilitation“ during their stay.
Methodologically, the study is based on qualitative research interviews. Ten patients, more or less in need of health assistance, were interviewed the last day before they were discharged to their homes. Data were analyzed in a qualitative content analysis.
The findings showed that the patients highly valued the possibility to relax and rest during the stay. They also valued the continuous presence and availability of the nurses which made them feel safe. The physical environment, however, made their personal-care activities problematic and had a negative influence on their independence and well-being. The findings are of special interest in a debate regarding the contents of the concept of rehabilitation, and stress the significance of understanding rehabilitation in an individual and contextual perspective.
This article explores how healthy wives experience and deal with everyday life as spouses and carers of husbands with cerebral apoplexies. Three qualitative interviews were carried out. A phenomenological analysis inspired by van Manen reveals three major themes: establishment of a new role in married life with a changed husband, finding new ways of dealing with everyday life, and the hope for a future without further deterioration. Healthy wives, the analysis concludes, experience a change in their roles. They take on the roles of problem solvers, put themselves second, and strive, at the same time, to maintain a life of their own and to mobilize resources to cope with the demands and responsibilities of everyday life. They try to maintain their independence and also manage to discover new values and personal development. Preferring to manage on their own, and experiencing the motivational power of hope, the women seem to feel little need of professional support in everyday life.
Qualitative research from 2003 shows that stroke patients are more bothered by fatigue than by their physical handicaps. To get a better understanding of patientfatigue after suffering a stroke, three in-depth interviews were conducted with two men and a woman struggling with post-stroke fatigue. An interpretative, hermeneutic, phenomenological analysis revealed that fatigue after suffering a stroke appears to determine the daily life of the patients involved. The fatigue sneaks up on them, and, without them even noticing, they fall asleep. It is uncontrollable and it hampers their lives. The three informants accounted for their daily experiences with fatigue, and all of them told about frequent events in which they had had to organize everything dictated by uncontrollable fatigue. Without doubt, more attention needs to be paid to the symptom of fatigue in the caring for and treatment of stroke patients.
This article discusses whether young adults with cancer have problems or needs which differ from cancer patients of other generations and therefore make special demands on the health care professionals. Drawing on existing knowledge about young people with cancer and an email-based series of interviews with a young woman with cancer, the conclusion is that there are both similarities and differences between the generations. What is special about young people suffering from cancer is that they are in a phase of life in which they make identity decisions regarding education, personal relationships, parenthood, and housing conditions. It is also difficult for many young persons to relate to the existing prevention and lifestyle discussions since they have not yet adopted the life style connected with an increased risk of getting cancer. Finally, young people differ from other generations by having another attitude to and different use of communication technologies when it comes to maintaining contact with friends and family, but also in connection with communication with professionals and other ill human beings. The conclusion is that it is important to pay special attention to the generational aspects of patients with cancer.