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The meaning of living with malodorous exuding ulcers.
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of palliative care research. Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5994-4012
2007 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 16, no 3A, 68-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM: This study illuminates the meaning of living with malodorous, exuding ulcers. BACKGROUND: Difficulties for patients with chronic ulcers and the ulcers' impact on patients' daily life are described in the literature. Suffering and consolation are also addressed in the literature as important issues in nursing care. DESIGN: The first author interviewed seven women and two men, aged 41-95, with various diagnoses. METHOD: We interpreted the transcribed interviews using a phenomenological hermeneutic method. RESULTS: Two processes were identified: 'being struck down'- themes: feeling dirty, being trapped, losing confidence, losing hope, becoming frustrated and protecting oneself; and 'finding consolation'- themes: experiencing kinship, encountering genuineness and gaining control. The meaning of living with malodorous and exuding ulcers can be understood as being trapped in a debilitating process that slowly strikes one down. There is a longing for purity and wholeness and for one's life to improve. When people with malodorous, exuding ulcers encounter genuineness and feel loved, regarded and respected as fully human despite their ulcers, they feel purified. The contaminated body no longer contaminates their self-image and self-esteem and they feel restored and fully human again. Only when they feel fully human can they regain control and see life beyond their ulcers. CONCLUSION: Although nurses cannot make ulcers or smell disappear, they can contribute significantly to improve the patients' life. Finding consolation makes patients feel purified despite their contaminated body. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study points to the importance of seeing the human being beyond the ulcer and considering not only the body but the whole person.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 16, no 3A, 68-75 p.
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-505DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01550.xPubMedID: 17518871OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-505DiVA: diva2:329946
Available from: 2010-07-14 Created: 2010-07-14 Last updated: 2016-12-05Bibliographically approved

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