Safety and understanding: Support as experienced by women living with heart failure in middle age

Article English OPEN
Nordgren, Lena ; Asp, Margareta ; Fagerberg, Ingegerd (2010)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being (issn: 1748-2631, eissn: 1748-2631)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/qhw.v3i1.4970

To reformulate and adjust to their life-situation, women living with heart failure (HF) need help and support. However, the actual meaning of the phenomenon of support is not yet well described. The aim of the study was to uncover the meaning of the phenomenon of support as experienced by women living with HF in middle age. A reflective lifeworld approach within the perspective of caring science was used. Six women (aged 33_61 years) were interviewed. The findings show that the essence of support can be understood as safety, depicted by understanding. However, there is tension between what is supportive and what is not, meaning that even though intentions are good, intended support may involve limitations, uncertainties or insecurity. The meaning of support is further illuminated in the following constituents: "knowledge and understanding", "finding balance", "ambiguity of relationships" and "support and formal care*a matter of trust and mistrust". Findings demonstrate the need for carers to find an approach that ensures both good quality medical care and, at the same time, acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual. Key words: Support, heart failure, women, middle aged, caring science, phenomenology
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