Critical Care Nursing

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Vbg Intensive and Critical Care Nursing
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doi:10.1016/j.iccn.2011.01.001 | How to Cite or Link Using DOI Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved. |
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Original article
The experiences of patients and their families of visiting whilst in an intensive care unit – A hermeneutic interview study

References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article. Thomas Erikssona, b, , , Ingegerd Bergbomb, and Berit Lindahlc, a CIVA/96, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden b Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Box 457, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden c School of Health Sciences, Borås University College, Allégatan 1, SE-501 90 Borås, Sweden Accepted 7 January 2011. 

Available online 1 February 2011.

The aim of this study was to interpret and understand the meanings of the lived experiences of visiting of patients in an ICU and their families. Method
The research design was hermeneutic, based on interviews. This study includes 12 interviews with seven patients and five relatives who had been in an ICU. The interview text was interpreted in a Gadamerian manner as different plays with actors and plots. Findings

Patients’ narratives could be divided into two parts; recall of real life and unreal life experiences, the unreal being more common. Relatives’ narratives are described as being on stage and being backstage, i.e. in the room with the patient and outside it. Conclusion

The final interpretation elucidated the experience of visiting as the sudden shift between being present in real life vs. being present in the real life of unreality. It was a process whereby the patient and the family build a new understanding of life that creates a new form of interplay within the...
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