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Experiences of ICU diaries: touching a tender wound
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health Sciences, Nursing Care.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6244-6401
Örebro University Hospital, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care.
Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo.
2009 (English)In: Nursing in Critical Care, ISSN 1362-1017, E-ISSN 1478-5153, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 61-67Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to describe peoples' experiences of a personal diary written when they were critically ill and receiving care in an intensive care unit (ICU). BACKGROUND: In some ICUs, diaries are written by the ICU staff and close relatives of those who are critically ill and mechanically ventilated, but there is a lack of studies that focus on the experiences of the formerly critically ill of personal diaries written when in an ICU. METHODS: Qualitative personal interviews were conducted with nine people who were formerly critically ill. The interview texts were analysed using qualitative content analysis. FINDINGS: From the analysis of the data, one theme emerged - touching a tender wound, with four categories: being afraid and being deeply touched, appreciating close relatives' notes, a feeling of unreality and gaining coherence. The participants were deeply touched when they read the diary for the first time. Parts of it were experienced as unreal, as if they were reading about someone else. The diary provided necessary knowledge about what had happened during the time when the participants were critically ill and from which they had only fragmented or no memories at all. Even though it aroused strong feelings, reading the diary was experienced as an important support for a long time after their stay in the ICU. Experiencing that one was not fully aware of what had happened and then reading about oneself being critically ill and about one's close relatives' experiences was interpreted as touching a tender wound. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: It is suggested that a diary may be a tool that can help formerly critically ill people to gain a sense of coherence concerning their critical illness experience, but reading it can be painful and demanding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 14, no 2, p. 61-67
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-10812DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-5153.2008.00312.xISI: 000207996700004PubMedID: 19243522Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-66549090445Local ID: 9ad8ba60-9467-11dd-a897-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-10812DiVA, id: diva2:983760
Note
Validerad; 2009; 20081007 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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