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1.  Nurses’ and care workers’ experiences of spiritual needs in residents with dementia in nursing homes: a qualitative study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13:12.
The aim of the study was to investigate nurses’ and care workers’ experiences of spiritual needs among residents with dementia in nursing homes. Nurses claim to practice holistic nursing. Nevertheless, there is little knowledge about how to recognise spiritual needs in residents with dementia.
The study was conducted using a qualitative method with an exploratory design. Eight focus- group interviews in four Norwegian nursing homes were performed from June 2011 – Jan 2012. Using open-ended research questions, a total of 31 participants were asked to share their understanding and experiences regarding residents’ spiritual needs. The interviews were analysed using a phenomenological – hermeneutical method.
The nurses’ and care workers’ experiences of residents’ spiritual needs were related to three main themes; i) The need for serenity and inner peace, described as “contemplative and restful moments” and “calmness due to familiarity”, ii) The need for confirmation, described as “love and proximity” and iii) The need to express faith and beliefs, described as “participate in worship and prayers” and “approaching death”.
The comprehensive analyses revealed that the nurses believe the residents’ spiritual needs were linked to the residents’ previous sources of finding meaning, in relation to inter-personal, intra-personal and trans-personal dimensions in residents’ lives.
Nurses' and care workers’ experiences of spiritual needs in people with dementia are very similar to the findings for the general population regardless of the severity of the dementia. The study’s relevance to clinical practice indicates the importance of developing more knowledge about how people with dementia in nursing homes express spiritual needs and how to observe and interpret such needs.
PMCID: PMC4011774  PMID: 24731548
Spiritual needs; Dementia; Nursing home; Phenomenological hermeneutics; Nursing care
2.  New quality regulations versus established nursing home practice: a qualitative study 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:7.
Western governments have initiated reforms to improve the quality of care for nursing home residents. Most of these reforms encompass the use of regulations and national quality indicators. In the Norwegian context, these regulations comprise two pages of text that are easy to read and understand. They focus particularly on residents’ rights to plan their day-to-day life in nursing homes. However, the research literature indicates that the implementation of the new regulations, particularly if they aim to change nursing practice, is extremely challenging. The aim of this study was to further explore and describe nursing practice to gain a deeper understanding of why it is so hard to implement the new regulations.
For this qualitative study, an ethnographic design was chosen to explore and describe nursing practice. Fieldwork was conducted in two nursing homes. In total, 45 nurses and nursing aides were included in participant observation, and 10 were interviewed at the end of the field study.
Findings indicate that the staff knew little about the new quality regulations, and that the quality of their work was guided by other factors rooted in their nursing practice. Further analyses revealed that the staff appeared to be committed to daily routines and also that they always seemed to know what to do. Having routines and always knowing what to do mutually strengthen and enhance each other, and together they form a powerful force that makes daily nursing care a taken-for-granted activity.
New regulations are challenging to implement because nursing practices are so strongly embedded. Improving practice requires systematic and deeply rooted practical change in everyday action and thinking.
PMCID: PMC3407522  PMID: 22676435
Qualitative methods; Nursing homes; Nursing practice; Regulations; And routines
3.  Older Norwegians' understanding of loneliness 
This interpretive study explored older people's understanding of loneliness and what they considered appropriate and effective ways of dealing with it. Thirty elderly people were interviewed in-depth; 12 described themselves as “lonely” and 18 as “not lonely.” We found a striking difference in the way “lonely” and “not lonely” people talked about loneliness. The “not lonely” participants described loneliness as painful, caused by the person's negative way of behaving and a state they should pull themselves out of. The “lonely” participants also described loneliness as painful, and gave more detailed descriptions of loneliness as disconnection from others, from their former home and from today's society. The “lonely” participants were more reserved and subdued in trying to explain loneliness, attributing it partly to themselves, but mostly to the lack of social contact with important others. Some felt able to handle their loneliness, while others felt unable to cope. This study underlines the importance of subjective experiences in trying to understand a phenomenon like loneliness and of developing support for lonely older people unable to cope on their own.
PMCID: PMC2879870  PMID: 20640024
Loneliness; older people; aging; attitudes
4.  Quality and Kinetics of the Antibody Response in Mice after Three Different Low-Dose Influenza Virus Vaccination Strategies▿  
The threat of a new influenza pandemic has led to renewed interest in dose-sparing vaccination strategies such as intradermal immunization and the use of adjuvanted vaccines. In this study we compared the quality and kinetics of the serum antibody response elicited in mice after one or two immunizations with a split influenza A (H3N2) virus, using three different low-dose vaccination strategies. The mice were divided into four groups, receiving either a low-dose vaccine (3 μg hemagglutinin [HA]) intradermally or intramuscularly with or without aluminum adjuvant or the normal human vaccine dose (15 μg HA) intramuscularly. Sera were collected weekly after vaccination and tested in the hemagglutination inhibition, virus neutralization, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The antibody responses induced after intradermal or intramuscular low-dose vaccinations were similar and lower than those observed after the human vaccine dose. However, low-dose adjuvanted vaccine elicited a serum antibody response comparable to that elicited by the human dose, although the second immunization did not result in any increase in cross-reactive hemagglutination inhibition antibodies, and the peak serum antibody response was observed 1 week later than in the other vaccination groups. Our murine data suggest that the low-dose intradermal route does not show any obvious advantage over the low-dose intramuscular route in inducing a serum antibody response and that none of the low-dose vaccination strategies is as effective as intramuscular vaccination with the normal human dose. However, the low-dose aluminum-adjuvanted vaccine could present a feasible alternative in case of limited vaccine supply.
PMCID: PMC2044485  PMID: 17596426

Results 1-4 (4)