The general opinion in society is that everyone has the right to live in their own home as long as possible. Provision of community home health care services is therefore increasingly common. Healthcare personnel encounter ethically difficult situations when providing care, but few studies describe such situations in the context of community home health care services.
This study has a qualitative descriptive design, using focused ethnography. Data from 21 days of fieldwork (in total 123 h) consisting of non-participant observations (n = 122), memos and informal interviews with registered nurses (n = 8), and nurse assistants (n = 4). The transcribed texts were analyzed with interpretive content analysis.
The inductive analyses revealed two categories: 1) difficulties in balancing different requirements, expectations and needs, and 2) use of coping strategies. The results demonstrate that there are different values and expectations that influence each other in a complex manner. The personnel dealt with these situations by generating strategies of coaxing the patients and finding a space to deliberate and share difficult emotions with their colleagues.
This study reveals that complex ethically difficult situations emerged in the context of community home health care services, and healthcare personnel were forced to find a balance regarding the different demands, expectations, values and needs that influence the care provided.
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- Balancing different expectations in ethically difficult situations while providing community home health care services: a focused ethnographic approach
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