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The modified self: family caregivers experiences of caring for a dying family member at home
Ersta Skondal University College.
Ersta Skondal University College.
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Health, Activity, Care.
Ersta Skondal University College.
2011 (English)In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, ISSN 0962-1067, Vol. 20, no 7-8, 1097-1105 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim. The aim of this study was to explore situations in daily life that challenge caregivers self-image when caring for a dying family member at home. Background. Caregiving affects the health and daily lives of family caregivers. Patterns of challenging situations may provide insight into the home caregiving experience, thus contributing to our understanding of the influence it has on the caregivers self-image. Design. Qualitative descriptive study. Methods. Ten family caregivers who cared for a dying family member at home with support from an advanced home care team were interviewed 6-12 months after the death of the family member. The interviews were analysed with interpretive description. Result. Three patterns characterised the experiences of caregivers daily lives in caring for a dying family member at home: challenged ideals, stretched limits and interdependency. These patterns formed the core theme, the modified self. Situations that challenged the caregivers self-image were connected to experiences such as forbidden thoughts, intimacy and decreasing personal space. Conclusions. The caregivers met challenging situations in their daily lives that created a modified image of self. It is important to recognise the impact of caring for a dying family member at home. Relevance to clinical practice. This study argues for supporting family caregivers to maximise their potential to handle the demanding everyday life with a dying family member at home. This study contributes to understanding situations in the home that may challenge caregivers self-image and points out the importance of talking about caregiving experiences. From a clinical perspective, this study emphasises the significance of creating a climate, which allows family caregivers to express thoughts and feelings. Sharing experiences such as forbidden thoughts can be one way of handling the profoundly changed every day life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY-BLACKWELL, COMMERCE PLACE, 350 MAIN ST, MALDEN 02148, MA USA , 2011. Vol. 20, no 7-8, 1097-1105 p.
Keyword [en]
caregivers, death and dying, home nursing, palliative care, qualitative research, self-concept
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67716DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03331.xISI: 000288166500021OAI: diva2:412590
Available from: 2011-04-26 Created: 2011-04-26 Last updated: 2012-02-29

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ReferencesLink to record
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