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Struggling to find meaning in life among spouses of people with ALS
Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden .
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden .
2015 (English)In: Palliative & Supportive Care, ISSN 1478-9515, E-ISSN 1478-9523, Vol. 13, no 4, 909-916 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The aim of this study was to illuminate experiences of finding meaning in life among spouses of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Method: Thirteen interviews were analyzed with qualitative content analysis. Results: The spouses were struggling for meaning at the end of a dark tunnel. They felt limited and isolated in their proximity to death. They lived imprisoned lives, felt lonely, considered life to be unfair and incomplete, and mourned the loss of their future. However, they found meaning despite the proximity of death through cherishing their own lives, fellowship, accepting the present, and believing in meaning after the partner's death. Significance of results: Meaning in life strengthened spouses' well-being and ability to find pleasure in a difficult situation. It also strengthened their will to live after the partner's death. Limitations and isolations were strong predictors of what could impair their well-being and the possibility of finding meaning after the partner's death. Spouses need individual support throughout the disease process and after the partner's death, to give them the strength to find meaning in life and prioritize what is important for them. Paying attention to what might prevent them from finding meaning could make it easier to help them in their situation. Providing joint support to the patient and spouse might also help them to see each other's situation, come together, and help each other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2015. Vol. 13, no 4, 909-916 p.
Keyword [en]
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Meaning, Qualitative content analysis, Sense of coherence, Spouse
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109387DOI: 10.1017/S1478951514000625ISI: 000360629100009PubMedID: 24991842OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-109387DiVA: diva2:857411
Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-25 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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