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Living with an adult family member using advanced medical technology at home

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FEX A, FLENSNER G, EK A‐C and SÖDERHAMN O. Nursing Inquiry 2011; 18: 336–347Living with an adult family member using advanced medical technology at home

An increased number of chronically ill adults perform self‐care while using different sorts of advanced medical technology at home. This hermeneutical study aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of living with an adult family member using advanced medical technology at home. Eleven next of kin to adults performing self‐care at home, either using long‐term oxygen from a cylinder or ventilator, or performing peritoneal or haemodialysis, were interviewed. The qualitative interviews were analysed using a Gadamerian methodology. The main interpretation explained the meaning as rhythmical patterns of connectedness versus separation, and of sorrow versus reconciliation. Dependence on others was shown in the need for support from healthcare professionals and significant others. In conclusion, next of kin took considerable responsibility for dependent‐care. All next of kin were positive to the idea of bringing the technology home, even though their own needs receded into the background, while focusing on the best for the patient. The results were discussed in relation to dependent‐care and transition, which may have an influence on the self‐care of next of kin and patients. The study revealed a need for further nursing attention to next of kin in this context.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 2011


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