A Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenological approach to understanding residents' perceptions of meaningful care in nursing homes

Document Type

Poster Session

Document Subtype


Presentation Date

Spring 4-2010

Conference Name

The University of Toledo, College of Nursing Research Conference

Conference Location

Toledo, OH

Peer Review




It is well known that quality of care in nursing homes has been an unrelenting concern; however, plans for major improvements are evolving. A move toward care for residents where residents are respected and heard is finally emerging. Although the focus on resident-centered care is currently recognized, meaningful care from residents’ perceptions deserves further examination. Improvement in overall care for residents relies on deep understanding about meaningful care through the eyes of the residents which is severely under-reported.

Purpose The purpose of this study is to share understanding about meaningful care for residents in nursing homes. This study serves as the basis for my long-term goal of developing educational tools aimed at improving gerontological care. These tools will enhance education for nursing home staff and nursing students.

Method Understanding the view of nursing home care from residents’ perspectives by utilizing a hermeneutic phenomenological approach that was established by Martin Heidegger provides insight about care that enhances residents' living in the nursing home. Heidegger’s philosophical underpinnings support the discovery of residents’ meaningful experiences of everydayness in the nursing home world. The interviews were conducted in three midwestern United States nursing homes.

Results A pilot study of four face-to-face interviews reveal themes that include loss of independence, lack of privacy, feeling safe, helping others, acknowledgement, and compassion. The results embrace a global perspective of meaning for residents in nursing homes.

Conclusions The next step for this study will be to target residents' perceptions of meaning-making in nursing homes.



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