Multicultural family members’ experiences with nurses and the intensive care context: A hermeneutic study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIntensive & Critical Care Nursing (2010) 26(1) s.24-32
Background: The aim of this study was to illuminate the experiences of multicultural family members in intensive care units in hospitals, when a loved one was critically ill. An increasing migration from non-Western countries to Norway and potential double-stress for multicultural families experiencing critical illness are pre-understandings. Methods: The study utilised a Gadamerian hermeneutic design. Data were collected through indepth- interviews (n = 5) and interpreted, inspired by Lindseth and Norberg’s phenomenological hermeneutical method. Findings: Multicultural family members’ experiences of their encounters with nurses were understood as: ‘Struggling to preserve the families’ cultural belonging within the health care system’, based on four themes: (a) filtering information to reduce concern; (b) understanding and being understood; (c) protecting cultural traditions and (d) interaction between roles, rules and expectations. Conclusion: Family members with a non-Western ethnic background experienced several challenges within the complex ICU environment. Multicultural family members had distinct strategies to deal with the hospitalisation of a critically ill loved one. Interaction difficulties and cultural traditions were not influenced by the environment alone, however the challenges seemed to deal with universal human interaction independent of the context. Nurses need to be sensitive to the families’ cultural customs in order to meet their expectations in a respectful way.
The original publication is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iccn.2009.10.003