Gerotranscendence from a Nursing Perspective – from Theory to Implementation
Sammanfattning: The overall aim of the present thesis was to gain further knowledge about the nursing theoretical basis of care of older people, to translate the theory of gerotranscendence into practical guidelines, and to implement the theory and guidelines in practical settings. Study I comprised a literature search and a review with qualitative analysis of nursing theories. The conclusion drawn was that nursing theories do not provide guidance on how to care for older people or on how to support them in the developmental process of ageing. Thus, there is a need to develop a nursing care model that, more than contemporary theories, takes human ageing into consideration. Study II was a qualitative interview study involving staff working in care of older people. The interviews were qualitatively analysed. The conclusion was that staff members need an interpretative framework that allows them to understand the signs they sometimes observe in older people. Such a framework would enable staff to develop a broader approach to their care for older people. Parts of this framework can be found in the theory of gerotranscendence. In Study III, guidelines for practical care of older people were derived from the theory of gerotranscendence. Focus group interviews were used and other sources supporting the guidelines were given. A qualitative analysis of the interviews was carried out, and the theory of gerotranscendence was used as the theoretical framework. The guidelines could be used to promote a development toward gerotranscendence and could also be of value for people who have already attained a state of gerotranscendence. The guidelines focus on the individual, activities and the organisation.In Study IV, the theory of gerotranscendence and practical guidelines were introduced in a nursing home. Data were collected via qualitative interviews with staff and residents, and observations were made. Qualitative analysis and triangulation were performed. As theoretical frameworks, both the theory of gerotranscendence and innovation theory were used. The result showed that the most used guidelines were those focusing on the individual; these concern what each staff member could do in his/her relation to the resident and care. The findings showed further that those staff members who interpreted signs in line with the theory of gerotranscendence also used the guidelines. The staff who were early to adopt and promote the guidelines were those individuals who described a feeling of harmony with essential parts of the gerotranscendence theory. The most important finding of this thesis was that it was possible to translate a theory such that it could generate practical guidelines that could be used by the staff. There are probably many theories that could be translated in order to be implemented in practical care, e.g. to build a bridge between theory and practice, thereby helping staff. Innovation theory could be of general interest in all contexts in which work towards change is being conducted.
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