Body, strength and movement - Intensive care patients' experience of body

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Fredriksen, Sven-Tore D. ; Talseth, Anne Grethe ; Svensson, Tommy (2008)

This study is about intensive care patients' experience of strength, body and movement during critical illness in an intensive care unit. The aim of the study is to inquire and understand the ways the body and its experience appear when the phenomena of strength and movement are altered. The data were collected through in-depth interviews with seven patients and analysed from a phenomenological-hermeneutical point of view. The findings showed a body that refuses to cooperate and is often marginally able to cope with the situation at all. It showed relational bonding between the patients and health personnel and/or significant others where the patients were overlooked and at the same time dependent on the same persons. They were waving between life and death through dimension of existence, which is contrasted to earlier experiences. They showed feeling responsible for the family through a role in to reduce their fears. At the same time, they are in a continuous struggle for life in which they balance between vague hope and a situation so challenging that the only thing left is grim humour. They showed progressing and expectations where the slightest changes in the situation in a positive direction create a hope in them. Key words: Phenomenology, hermeneutics, body, strength, movement, intensive care patients
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