Dignity in relationships and existence in nursing homes’ cultures
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Introduction: Expressions of dignity as a clinical phenomenon in nursing homes as expressed by caregivers were investigated. A coherence could be detected between the concepts and phenomena of existence and dignity in relationships and caring culture as a context. A caring culture is interpreted by caregivers as the meaning-making of what is accepted or not in the ward culture. Background: The rationale for the connection between existence and dignity in relationships and caring culture is that suffering is a part of existence, as well as compassion in relieving suffering, and ontological interdependency. Aim: To describe different expressions of dignity in relationships and existence in context of caring cultures from the perspective of the caregivers. Research design: The methodology and method are hermeneutic. The method used was to merge the theoretical preunderstanding as one horizon of understanding with empirical data. Participants and research context: Focus group interviews with caregivers in nursing homes. Ethical considerations: The principles of the Helsinki Declaration have been followed to, for example, preserve self-determination, integrity, dignity, confidentiality and privacy of the research persons. Findings: Data interpretation resulted in four themes: Encountering existential needs that promote dignity in a caring culture; To amplify dignity in relationships by the creative art of caring in a caring culture; Violation of dignity by ignorance or neglect in a non-caring culture and The ethic of words and appropriated ground values in a caring culture. Discussion: Dignity-promoting acts of caring, or dignity-depriving acts of non-caring are adequate to see from the perspective of dignity in relationships and existence and the caring culture. Conclusions: Dignity in relationships seems to touch the innermost existential life, as the existential life is dependent on confirmation from others.