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Caring about symptoms in person-centred care
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Divison of Caring Sciences, postgraduate level. Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7804-0342
University of Gothenburg, Institute of Health and Care Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Open Journal of Nursing, ISSN 2162-5336, E-ISSN 2162-5344, Vol. 3, no 8, 563-567 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the present article, we emphasize the symptom experience perspective in person-centred care and discuss barriers to implementation of this approach. There are obstacles to overcome: the diversity of understandings of symptoms in clinical settings, the current biomedical discourse and the incompleteness of symptom research. Since the 19th century, the bio-medical perspective has been powerful in conceptualizing symptoms in terms of pathology and diagnosis. Many diagnoses conjure up preconceived notions about the persons receiving them. This perspective may influence person-centred care negatively. Yet symptoms often mean something beyond the diagnosis. Recognizing this discrepancy, it is crucial that we consider a perspective that starts from each person’s symptom experience, thus complementing the biomedical perspective. Using the notion caring about symptoms, we advocate a person-centred approach that includes a symptom experience perspective. This requires that health-care professionals be skilled in listening to patient narratives and acquire knowledge about how symptom experiences can be individually expressed and interpreted. Listening to symptom experiences may give insights into the personal meaning of illness as well as information about bodily and social restrictions caused by symptom distress. In this way, caring about symptoms will improve the prerequisites for establishing person-centred care planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Scientific Research Publishing, 2013. Vol. 3, no 8, 563-567 p.
Keyword [en]
Biomedical Perspective, Nursing Practice, Patient-Centred Care, Symptom Experience
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-5842DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2013.38077OAI: diva2:683015
Available from: 2014-01-01 Created: 2014-01-01 Last updated: 2015-03-18Bibliographically approved

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