The meaning of living with severe chronic heart failure as narrated by elderly people

Ekman, I.; Ehnfors, M.; Norberg, A.

Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 14(2): 130-136

2000


ISSN/ISBN: 0283-9318
PMID: 12035276
DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2000.tb00573.x
Accession: 047678911

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Abstract
The meaning of elderly patients' experiences of living with chronic heart failure was studied. Narrative interviews were analysed using a phenomenological hermeneutic approach. 'Feeling imprisoned in illness' and 'feeling free despite illness' constituted the themes. These themes were interpreted as describing variations in awareness of the relationship between the self and the body. In theme 'feeling imprisoned in illness' the body's illness and disability hindered the subjects from being themselves. In the theme 'feeling free despite illness' the disabled body was not experienced as limiting, but rather as a part of the self. The patients' understanding of the illness must be interpreted by the caregiver, who also needs to be aware of different modes of communicating feeling about the illness.

The meaning of living with severe chronic heart failure as narrated by elderly people