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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2014

Shifting between self-governing and being governed: a qualitative study of older persons’ self-determination

Zeitschrift:
BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Isabelle Ottenvall Hammar, Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff, Katarina Wilhelmson, Kajsa Eklund
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2318-14-126) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

IOH conducted the interviews, performed the initial analysis, and was the primary author of the manuscript. IOH, SDI, KW, and KE continually discussed the essence of the interviews and participated in the analysis of the data. All authors contributed to the writing and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Older persons’ right to exercise self-determination in daily life is supported by several laws. Research shows that older persons’ self-determination is not fully respected within the healthcare sector. In order to enable and enhance older persons’ self-determination, extensive knowledge of older persons’ self-determination is needed. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of self-determination when developing dependence in daily activities among community-dwelling persons 80 years and older.

Methods

Qualitative interviews were performed in accordance with a grounded theory method, with 11 persons aged 84–95 years who were beginning to develop dependence in daily activities.

Results

The data analysis revealed the core category, “Self-determination - shifting between self-governing and being governed”. The core category comprised three categories: “Struggling against the aging body”, “Decision-making is relational”, and “Guarding one’s own independence”. Self-determination in daily activities was related to a shifting, which was two-fold, and varied between self-governing and being governed by the aging body, or by others.

Conclusions

The findings imply a need to adopt a person-centered approach where the older persons’ own preferences and needs are in focus, in order to enhance their possibilities to exercise self-determination.
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