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Ward atmospheres of horror and healing: a comparative analysis of narrative
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing.
2003 (English)In: Health, ISSN 1363-4593, Vol. 7, no 4, 377-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aspects of a social setting profoundly influence personal experience in the setting. The purpose of our study was to further understand the phenomenon of ward atmosphere through a detailed case study. One narrator describes and contrasts two ward experiences, one where she lost her mother through death, and the other where she became a mother through birthing. Using classic storytelling forms, she develops a long narrative juxtaposing the two settings: one healing, the other horrifying. Close examination of narrative structure and aesthetics of the illness narrative shows how the narrator forges a discourse about the moral life - how healing should occur. Experiences in the two settings continue to have significance in her subjectivity. The research suggests aspects of ward atmosphere that warrant further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 7, no 4, 377-396 p.
Keyword [en]
aesthetics, healing, horror, narrative analysis, ward atmosphere
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4340DOI: 10.1177/13634593030074001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-4340DiVA: diva2:143382
Available from: 2005-01-11 Created: 2005-01-11 Last updated: 2009-11-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Atmosphere in care settings: Towards a broader understanding of the phenomenon
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Atmosphere in care settings: Towards a broader understanding of the phenomenon
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the study is to understand and describe the phenomenon ‘atmosphere in care settings’ as experienced by patients, significant others and health care staff. The study consists of four papers, each of which illuminates various aspects of the phenomenon. Data consisted of observations and interviews with patients, significant others and staff (n=126) within a hospice, a geriatric, a medical and an oncology setting, and community care settings for older people. Narrative analysis, grounded theory, and phenomenological hermeneutics were used in a triangular fashion to analyse the data.

The findings illuminate the phenomenon ‘atmosphere in care settings’ as being constituted by two interacting and interwoven dimensions: the physical environment and people’s doing and being in the environment. The physical environment is the first dimension, and five aspects were illuminated, namely the physical environment as a symbol; as containing symbols; as influencing interaction; as facilitating a shift of focus from oneself to the environment, and; as containing scents and sounds influencing experiences of at-homeness or alienation. People’s doing and being in the environment is the other dimension, and five aspects were illuminated, namely the experience (or absence of experience) of a welcoming; of seeing and being seen; of a willingness to serve; of a calm pace; and of safety. It was understood that people’s doing and being influences experiences of the physical environment and that the physical environment influences experiences of people’s doing and being. The comprehensive understanding illuminated that the phenomenon is not merely subtle qualities of the place for care, but an active part of care. Both the physical environment and peoples doing and being conveys messages of caring and uncaring. The atmosphere of a care setting can at best support experiences of at-homeness in relation to oneself, others and the surrounding world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Omvårdnad, 2005. 189 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 941
Keyword
Nursing, Narrative analysis, Grounded Theory, Phenomenological hermeneutics, Symbols, At-homeness, Environment, Omvårdnad
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
omvårdnadsforskning med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-406 (URN)91-7305-807-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-02-04, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-01-11 Created: 2005-01-11 Last updated: 2009-11-11Bibliographically approved

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