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The progression of suffering implies alleviated suffering
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Welfare and Care (IVV).
Åbo Akademi.
2004 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, Vol. 18, no 3, 264-272 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a lack of research focusing directly on both patients' suffering and alleviated suffering in relation to care. The aim of this paper was to investigate the progression of suffering in relation to the encounter between the suffering person and the caregiver from the perspective of an understanding of life. The progression of suffering is assumed to be an existential 'sign' of the development of understanding of life as an ontological or spiritual entity, which demands a meaning-creating encounter between the patient and caregiver. The concept 'existential caring encounter' was used to describe how the encounter between patient and caregiver can create meaning in communion and thereby alleviate suffering by making it bearable. The study was carried out using an interpretive, hermeneutic approach. The study as a whole comprises three parts, and these include letter-writing and interviews. The findings are described by the following main theses: (a) a darkness in life understanding is existentially experienced as unbearable suffering and requires an encounter involving attentive care and confrontation, (b) the turning point means that the struggle of suffering begins, and (c) the encounter involves being meaningcreating in a communion in the struggle of suffering. An understanding of the patterns of unbearable and bearable suffering can be of help to the caregiver in caring for the patient by serving as a basis for meaning-creation in communion. This may thereby be a way of alleviating the patient's suffering by making it bearable during the progression of suffering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 18, no 3, 264-272 p.
Keyword [en]
progression of suffering, alleviation of suffering, hermeneutic, unbearable, interdependence, existential caring encounter, life-understanding
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22065DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2004.00281.xLocal ID: 1142OAI: diva2:242378
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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Rehnsfeldt, Arne
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Faculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Welfare and Care (IVV)
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