Ethical values in caring encounters from elderly patients’ and next of kin´s perspective
Sammanfattning: The welfare of the elderly population is one of the most important goals of the public health services. At macro level the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare state that the premier goal is for elderly people to have dignified and comfortable lives. They should have a life with a sense of value and feel confident. These ethical values which are expressed on macro level or as normative ethics are expected to prevail at micro level. In our study the micro level is the caring encounter between the elderly patient, next of kin and nurses. Ethical values and morals are important aspects that influence the quality of care, videlicet in empiric ethics.The aim of study (I) was to identify and describe the ethical values experienced by the older person in the daily interaction with nurses in a ward for older people during caring encounters. In study (II) the aim was to identify and describe the governing ethical values that next of kin experience in interaction with nurses who care for elderly patients at a geriatric clinic. Study (I) which was an empirical observational study included follow-up interviews. Twenty-two older people participated voluntarily. In study (II) interviews with fourteen next of kin were conducted. In both studies Constant comparative analysis, the core foundation of grounded theory was used.Five categories; Being addressed, receiving respect, desiring to participate, increasing self-determination and gaining self-confidence formed the basis for the core category in study (I): Approaching. Approaching concerns the way people become closer to each other in a physical space .It also includes how people become closer to each other in a dialogue, which involves verbal or bodily communication. Approaching indicates the ethical values that guide nurses in their caring encounters with older people. This ethical value is noted by the older person and has an individual value, as well as leading to improved quality of their care. The older person will be confident and satisfied with the caring encounter if the desired components in the nurse’s approaching are exhibited.Four categories were identified in study (II): Receiving, showing respect, facilitating participation and showing professionalism. These categories formed the basis of the core category: “Being amenable”, a concept identified in the next of kin’s description of the ethical values that they and the elderly patients perceive in the caring encounter. Being amenable means that the nurses are guided by ethical values; taking into account the elderly patient and next of kin. Nurses who focus on elderly patients’ well-being as a final principle will affect next of kin and their experience of this fundamental situation.
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