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The experiences of patients and their families of visiting whilst in an intensive care unit – A hermeneutic interview study
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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.
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.
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.
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... [continues]
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