Suffering while resigning to an unacceptable violation of dignity
Aim: To critically discuss relatives’ experiences of suffering when their next of kin live in a nursing home in a rural arctic context.
Research Design, Participants and Context: The critical hermeneutic stance is informed by Habermas. The secondary analysis is conducted on original data from five semi-structured focus groups with 18 relatives of residents of two nursing homes in a rural part of Norway. The theoretical framework concerning dignity, well-being, and suffering, as developed by Galvin and Todres, contrasts the analysis.
Ethical Considerations: The study followed the principles of the Helsinki Declaration. It was approved by the Norwegian Center for Research Data (NSD) (reg. no. 993360).
Findings: The main theme of this study is: suffering while resigning to an unacceptable violation of dignity. This theme is deepened by two subthemes: (a) suffering while adapting to a relationship of dependence and (b) suffering while accepting the unacceptable.
Conclusions: Relatives experience suffering as a cross-pressure in their struggle to interact responsibly with health personnel in nursing homes. This may have a negative outcome, where relatives end up adapting to being silent witnesses to missed care and a violation of dignity.