Encountering existential loneliness among older people : perspective of health professionals

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Encountering existential loneliness among older people : perspective of health professionals

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Encountering existential loneliness among older people : perspective of health professionals
Author Sundström, Malin ; Edberg, Anna- Karin ; Rämgård, Margareta ; Blomqvist, Kerstin
Date 2018
English abstract
ABSTRACT Purpose: Existential loneliness is part of being human that is little understood in health care, but, to provide good care to their older patients, professionals need to be able to meet their existential concerns. The aim of this study was to explore health care professionals’ experiences of their encounters with older people they perceive to experience existential loneliness. Method: We conducted 11 focus groups with 61 health professionals working in home care, nursing home care, palliative care, primary care, hospital care, or pre-hospital care. Our deductive–inductive analytical approach used a theoretical framework based on the work of Emmy van Deurzen in the deductive phase and an interpretative approach in the inductive phase. Results: The results show that professionals perceived existential loneliness to appear in various forms associated with barriers in their encounters, such as the older people’s bodily limitations, demands and needs perceived as insatiable, personal shield of privacy, or fear and difficulty in encountering existential issues. Conclusion: Encountering existential loneliness affected the professionals and their feelings in various ways, but they generally found the experience both challenging and meaningful.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2018.1474673 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Link https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2018.1474673 .Icon
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Volume 13
ISSN 1748-2631
Language eng (iso)
Subject Existential loneliness
older peole
lifeworld
health care professionals
focus groups
Medicine
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/26011 Permalink to this page
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA.
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