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Spouses' existential loneliness when caring for a frail partner late in life-a hermeneutical approach
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Care Science (VV).
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Care Science (VV).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1235-620X
2020 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 1734166Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Spouses are in a vulnerable situation when caring for a frail partner late in life. Exploring their existential loneliness can be a way to understand more about their existential needs. Method: A hermeneutic approach was used. Multistage focus group interviews were conducted with two groups consisting of five spouses, respectively, who met three times each. To work with the text, an approach was adapted where quotations are converted into poems in a linguistic manner. Results: Existential loneliness can be understood as the following: 1) being in a transition from us to merely me, 2) being forced to make decisions and feeling excluded, 3) navigating in an unfamiliar situation and questioning oneself, and 4) longing for togetherness but lacking the energy to encounter other people. The main interpretation is that existential loneliness emerges when one is in moments of inner struggle, when one is forced to make impossible choices, when one is approaching and is in limit situations, and when one is experiencing the endless loss of the other. Conclusion: For health care professionals to achieve a holistic picture, person-centeredness can be a way to make the spouses' existential needs visible and to provide support based on their needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2020. Vol. 15, no 1, article id 1734166
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-13871DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2020.1734166ISI: 000517108000001PubMedID: 32116141OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-13871DiVA, id: diva2:1416929
Available from: 2020-03-26 Created: 2020-03-26 Last updated: 2020-03-26

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