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The meaning of well-being and participation in the process of health and care – Women’s experiences following a myocardial infarction
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Health Sciences and Social Work. Skaraborg Hospital.
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Health Sciences and Social Work.
2006 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 100-108Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the researchers explore women’s experiences of care and health process following a myocardial infarction(MI), with a particular focus on their experiences of well-being and participation. The phenomenon is illuminated from theapproach of reflective lifeworld research, and in order to obtain expressions of the women’s lived experiencephenomenological interviews were conducted. Participation and well-being are described as an experience of beinginvolved in one’s own health process. This entails that the women have the potential to influence and take responsibility fortheir own lives and their own bodies in a meaningful way for them. Participation is a condition for the women to deal withtheir health and their lives, and seems to improve the women’s sense of well-being. At the same time as they sense adependency on the health care professionals, they seek autonomy and a situation where they can find a new balance,including ‘‘the new’’ body and insecurity that the MI has brought with it. However, the findings also show that the women’sparticipation in the process of care and health, and their well-being, is a challenge for health care professionals. When theprofessionals are unable to encounter the women’s need of participation and desire to be met in their existential insecurity,well-being is affected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 1, no 2, p. 100-108
Keywords [en]
Caring science, female, heart disease, lifeworld research, patients’ perspectiv
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-4836DOI: 10.1080/17482620500494717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-4836DiVA, id: diva2:206448
Note

Part of urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-2506

Available from: 2009-01-30 Created: 2009-01-30 Last updated: 2017-08-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mitt hjärta, mitt liv: Kvinnors osäkra resa mot hälsa efter en hjärtinfarkt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mitt hjärta, mitt liv: Kvinnors osäkra resa mot hälsa efter en hjärtinfarkt
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
My heart, my life : Women’s uncertain health journey following a myocardial infarction
Abstract [en]

The thesis describes the phenomenon women’s health and illness experiences following a myocardial infarction (MI). The purpose of the thesis is to explore women’s experiences of their care and health processes, as well as their experiences of body, lifeworld and meaningful relationships related to the illness. A reflective lifeworld approach, based on phenomenological philosophy, is used. The thesis is comprised of four studies; three are based on interviews with a total of 26 women following an MI, followed by a fourth, theoretical, study.

The first study explores women’s experiences of care and health processes following an MI, with a particular focus on well-being and participation (I). The findings show that an MI is an event that suddenly interrupts the ordinary life of the women. Participation is a sense of being involved in their own health and care processes, which may also encourage them to take responsibility for health promoting activities in a healthy and meaningful way.

The second study explores women’s lifeworld experience of their bodies and lives following an MI (II). This study finds that an MI, as a major event in the women’s lives, influences and restricts their everyday activities over a long period of time. Following the illness, they live with an existential uncertainty about their life and the heart, and this feeling entails suffering for them.

The third study explores the meaning of close relationships and sexuality to women’s health and well-being following an MI (III). The mmeaning of close relationships appears to be vitally intertwined with their long-term health process; both health processes and relationships are affected after an MI. The suffering following an MI can be compared to taking a fall, where meaningful close relationships can function as a safety net that catches the women in their fall.

The fourth study is a concept development aimed at elucidating the meaning of the concepts uncertainty, control, secure and risk in relation to the thesis phenomenon and the findings of the empirical interview studies (IV). The existential uncertainty is an important matter in the women’s health processes. In these processes the concepts control, secure and risk play a central role. Women who have suffered an MI want to be as safe as possible in order to live well. The analysis illuminates a paradox, that the women’s ambition to achieve greater safety may lead them into an even greater experience of uncertainty.

The conclusion is that women’s experiences of health and illness can be described as a journey characterized by existential uncertainty. The women’s lives go through different existential phases following an MI, which is a major event. They are not prepared for the reactions that this event causes and are in need of support and guidance to manage their illness experiences. If acknowledged and well met, the significance and meaning of the women’s reactions and experiences can give impetus and energy to their health processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Växjö University Press, 2008. p. 82
Series
Acta Wexionensia, ISSN 1404-4307 ; 158/2008
Keywords
heart disease, phenomenology, reflective lifeworld research, patient perspective, health processes, caring science, patient participation, existential, uncertainty, nursing
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-2506 (URN)978-91-7636-633-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-11, Myrdal, Växjö universitet, Växjö, 10:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-01-30 Created: 2009-01-30 Last updated: 2017-02-14Bibliographically approved

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Johansson Sundler, AnnelieEkebergh, Margaretha

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