The aim of this paper was to explore the patients' experiences of hope during the first months following acute spinal cord injury. This qualitative study has a descriptive and explorative design. Data were collected by personal interviews (N = 10) at a rehabilitation centre in Norway. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach inspired by Ricoeur was used to extract the meaning content of the patients' experiences. The findings revealed one main interpretation; the awakening of hope, expressed by two themes: hope and despair, and uncertainty. Awakening hopes, even sometimes silent hopes, constituted a contextual background in the immediate aftermath of spinal cord injury.
BACKGROUND: According to the general literature on hope, individuals who are hopeful live more positive lives than those who experience hopelessness. Hope has been defined as a positive orientation toward future improvements, and is associated with health and well-being. AIM: This paper reports a study that explored patients' experiences of hope following spinal cord injury. METHOD: Data were collected by personal interviews (n = 10) at a rehabilitation institution in Norway. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach was used to extract the meaningful content of patients' experiences. The analysis was performed as a spiral process that included a reading to gain a sense of the whole, followed by identification of meaningful parts and a comprehensive and understandable interpretation of the whole. FINDINGS: Two themes emerged: 'images of the past and future', and 'balancing between inner emotional dichotomies' that were, mainly, related to experiences of courage/uncertainty and patience/restlessness. DISCUSSION: All participants experienced hope. The substance of hope--being able to walk again and hoping for recovery--was a universal experience among participants and was comprehended in terms of positive expectations. The process of hope involved continuous 'ups and downs'. Patients were in need of skilled nursing care to enable and foster hope during the first months following acute spinal cord injury. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, patients hoped for recovery and every improvement stimulated hope. The process of hope was future-oriented, characterized by dichotomies. Nurses need the skills to foster hope and enable recently injured patients to look beyond the immediate situation and direct their energies appropriately.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore patients' experiences of hope during the first year suffering from spinal cord injury. BACKGROUND: There is a lack of substantial precision with regard to the concept of hope. Very few qualitative studies focusing on experiences of hope in spinal cord-injured patients have been identified in the literature. In this study, "hope" was defined as future oriented towards improvement. DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were collected by means of personal interviews (n = 10) at the participants' homes in Norway. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach, inspired by Ricoeur, was used to extract the meaning of the patients' experiences. The analysis was performed in several steps, as a hermeneutic process. RESULTS: In this study, the findings revealed two main themes: "The Vicious Circle" and "Longing". The vicious circle constituted aspects of suffering, and the common hope experienced by the subjects was therefore to leave the vicious circle. Experiences of suffering were experienced as feelings of loneliness, impatience, disappointment, bitterness and dependency. The "Longing" was based on the subject's former life and was the source of awakened new hopes, which again was experienced comforting. CONCLUSIONS: Experiences of suffering created hope and longing. The meaning of hope was to find a possible way out of the circle and the hoping was experienced as a comfort. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Implications to nursing practice are listening to the suffering and longing individual and comforting the suffering by pointing towards possible future roads of hope.
The purpose of this study was to learn the views of women with spinal cord injuries (SCI) about their sexual life 1 or more years after the trauma. Based on a descriptive survey design, data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire completed by 48 women. The data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. The results show that most of the respondents had been injured 10 or more years. More than 50% were sexually active before the trauma. Fifty percent of the respondents reported that their views on sexuality had not changed as a result of the trauma. Twenty-one percent reported that sexuality was less important to them after the trauma. There is a need for studies of possible nursing interventions that will influence SCI women to recognize both their need for, and their right to, a satisfactory sexual life.