Continuity means "preserving a consistent whole" - A grounded theory study

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Abstract

© 2015 M. Östman et al. Living with a chronic disease like chronic heart failure (CHF) results in disruptions, losses, and setbacks in the participants' daily lives that affect health and well-being. By using grounded theory method, we illuminate whether persons with CHF experience discontinuity in life and, if so, what helps them to preserve and strengthen continuity in their daily lives. Thirteen individual interviews and one group interview with five participants, aged 62 to 88 years, were carried out. Through data collection and data analysis, we constructed three concepts that make up a model illustrating the participants' experiences in daily life in relation to corporeality, temporality, and identity: experiences of discontinuity, recapturing approaches, and reconciliation. The first concept, experiences of discontinuity, was constructed from the following categories: the alienated body, the disrupted time, and the threatened self. The second concept, recapturing approaches, consists of categories with continuity creative constructions: repossessing the body, maintaining a façade, seizing the day, restoring the balance of time, and preserving self. These actions are intended to overcome problems and master changes in order to maintain balance in daily life through constructions that recreate normality and predictability. The third concept, reconciliation, was constructed from three categories: feel normal, set to adjust, and be positioned. These categories describe how the participants minimize their experiences of discontinuity by recapturing approaches in order to reconcile with various changes and maintain continuity in daily life. Our findings provide a fresh perspective on continuity that may contribute to the development of significant interventions in continuity of care for persons with CHF. However, continuity requires that healthcare systems support each patient's ability to manage change, reorientation, and adjustment to the new situation in order to make it easier for the patient to create and continue living their daily lives as they desire.

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Östman, M., Ung, E. J., & Falk, K. (2015). Continuity means “preserving a consistent whole” - A grounded theory study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 10. https://doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v10.29872

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