Tiredness of Life in Older persons: A Qualitative Study on Nurses' Experiences of Being Confronted With This Growing Phenomenon.

Date: 
11-06-2019

Authors: Liesbeth Van Humbeeck, Let Dillen, Ruth Piers, Nele Van Den Noortgate

Source: 
The Gerontologist (2019)
Links: 
PubMed

Background And Objectives

With worldwide aging it is imperative to understand nurses' perceptions of tiredness of life (ToL) and their ways of dealing with an increasingly common phenomenon. Most research on ToL relates to older individuals' experiences. This study aimed to gain insight into nurses' (a) perceptions of, (b) attitude(s) toward, and (c) ways of dealing with ToL in older patients.

Research Design And Methods

Qualitative study with elements of constructivist grounded theory. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews between February 2016 and June 2017 with a purposive sample of 25 nurses working in home care and nursing homes.

Results

A careful consideration indicative of an oscillation between 3 levels (e.g., behavioral, cognitive, and affective) is present. The confrontation with persons having ToL instigates a cognitive process of searching to understand the state a person is in, which on its turn ensues in an emotional balancing between courage and powerlessness and a behavioral approach of action or dialogue.

Discussion And Implications

Our findings indicate that nurses aim to provide good care, sensitive to the older person's needs, but this process is not without ambiguity. This study provides nurse managers with valuable guidance to (a) support nursing staff in dealing with ToL, and (b) advance opportunities for emotionally sensitive care and (individual- and team-based) reflection. Finally, this study offers suggestions for education programs to incorporate ToL in curricula.

 
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