This paper presents narratives that focus on experiences of hope, told by 10 participants three to four years after suffering spinal cord injury. Experiences of hope are understood as vital, essential and dynamic aspects of human life and human health. This is the first study addressing patients' experiences of hope three to four years following spinal cord injury. This study has a descriptive, longitudinal design, and is part of a larger study on patients' experiences of hope three to four years following spinal cord injury (Lohne, 2001, 2006, 2008a, 2008b; Lohne & Severinsson, 2004a, 2004b, 2005, 2006). Data were collected at three points in time by personal interviews. A phenomenological approach inspired by Ricoeur (1976) was used to extract the meaningful content of the patients' experiences. Findings revealed three main themes: Life-related hopes (I), Body-related hopes (II), and Creative and expanding hopes (III). Results indicated that three to four years following injury, participants were focusing on life more than on hope due to improvements and adaptation to a new life.
The aim of this longitudinal study was to explore 10 patients' experiences of the meaning they attribute to the substance of hope and the process of hoping during the first 3 to 4 years following a spinal cord injury. This qualitative study is a synthesis of three empirical studies of hope and the overall aim was to deepen the understanding of the phenomenon of hope, based on the text representing the main contextual findings, to develop a theoretical framework on hope within a context of spinal cord injury, illustrated in the conceptual model. In correspondence with Ricoeur, this conceptual model, which was developed from a new understanding, based on a new text of the phenomenon of hope, develops a new and deeper understanding of the meaning of hope. Findings revealed 9 themes: universal hope, uncertain hope, hope as a turning point, the power of hope, boundless creative and flexible hope, enduring hope, despairing hope, body-related hope, and existential hope. The conceptual model was derived from these themes, illustrated as The Battle between Hoping and Suffering and The Road of Hope. The interpretations also revealed a distinction between being in hope and having hope, and having a hope of improvements was the main focus at the early stage of rehabilitation, whereas being in hope as being just fine was the main focus after 3 to 4 years of rehabilitation.
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.