Scheduled care-As a way of caring: A phenomenological study of being cared for when suffering from alcohol use disorders

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To elucidate the lived experience of how patients with alcohol use disorders experience being cared for when admitted to acute medical units.

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use is health damaging and is identified as one of the major avoidable risk factors, and alcohol use disorder is classified among the most harmful, debilitating disease categories. Patients suffering from alcohol use disorders are characterised by complex problems and health pictures spawned by chaotic lifestyles. However, the experience of the hospitalisation from patients' perspective is poorly documented.

DESIGN: The present study has a qualitative research design and is anchored in phenomenological and hermeneutical methodology, as described in reflective lifeworld research.

METHODS: The data set consists of 15 in-depth interviews with patients suffering from alcohol use disorders admitted to an acute medical unit. A purposive sampling strategy was used, and the interviews were conducted as open dialogues. The study was reported in accordance with the consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research.

RESULTS: Being cared for when hospitalised was experienced as a two-stage process that changed throughout the hospitalisation from an experience of scheduled care experienced as caring to an experience of scheduled care experienced as non-caring. Four constituents further described the variable experiences: being in a safe haven, sharing a tacit but mutual goal, being in a chaotic space and being on your own.

CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that being met in an authentic presence by nurses was a powerful tool that helped ease the hospitalisation. Patients suffering from alcohol use disorders call for an intentional and distinctive attentiveness and authentic presence from the nurses throughout their hospitalisation.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Our findings highlight that patients suffering from alcohol use disorders call for an intentional and distinct attentiveness from nurses throughout the hospitalisation, where a possible transfer of attention is noticed and responded to in the care provided.

TidsskriftJournal of Clinical Nursing
Sider (fra-til)1174-1182
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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