Striving to maintain a dignified life for the patient in transition: Next of kin's experiences during the transition process of an older person in transition from hospital to home
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHvalvik, S. & Reierson, I.Å. Striving to maintain a dignified life for the patient in transition: Next of kin's experiences during the transition process of an older person in transition from hospital to home. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. 2015, Vol. 10, article number 26554 http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v10.26554
Next of kin represent significant resources in the care for older patients. The aim of this study was to describe and illuminate the meaning of the next of kin’s experiences during the transition of an older person with continuing care needs from hospital to home. The study has a phenomenological hermeneutic design. Individual, narrative interviews were conducted, and the data analysis was conducted in accordance with Lindseth and Norberg’s phenomenological hermeneutic method. Two themes and four subthemes were identified and formulated. The first theme: “Balancing vulnerability and strength,” encompassed the subthemes “enduring emotional stress” and “striving to maintain security and continuity.” The second theme: “Coping with an altered everyday life,” encompassed “dealing with changes” and “being in readiness.” Our findings suggest that the next of kin in striving to maintain continuity and safety in the older person’s transition process are both vulnerable individuals and significant agents. Thus, it is urgent that health care providers accommodate both their vulnerability and their abilities to act, and thereby make them feel valued as respected agents and human beings in the transition process.