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Residents' Descriptions of What Makes Meaning in Nursing Homes
Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • Nila Reimer, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne
Document Type
Poster Session
Document Subtype
Presentation Date
Conference Name
Midwest Nursing Research Society
Conference Location
Columbus, OH

A move toward care of residents in nursing homes where they are respected and heard is finally emerging. While a focus on individualizing care for residents is now recognized, research reveals there remains a lack of understanding about what befitting care is for these residents. Two common strategies used in an attempt to determine what is meaningful for residents in nursing homes include measuring their responses to satisfaction surveys and implementing person-centered care. Although satisfaction surveys and approaches of integrating person-centered care have served as valuable methods to measure nursing home quality, these strategies have not revealed what residents consider makes meaning for them in nursing homes. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study is to identify what residents age 65 and older describe as events that make meaning for them in the long-term care sections of nursing homes. Using a qualitative mode of inquiry where purposive sampling, face-to-face interviews, data analysis, and interpretation occur as a circular process is an ideal research method for this study. The qualitative descriptive method will lead to a natural unfolding of the data that is essential for interpreting what residents describe makes meaning for them in nursing homes. The concepts of personal meaning and meaning-making for residents will be explored. The Theory of Health Expanding Consciousness will provide direction for the researcher in developing research questions and attaining connectedness with residents. Content analysis will be used to reduce the data in a manner that keeps the data close to the context, yet move the data toward a new idea or concept that may identify what makes meaning for residents in nursing homes. Knowing what makes meaning for residents may lead caregivers to seek new practices of individualizing care in nursing homes. Residents have the right to receive individualized care that integrates what it is that makes meaning for them in nursing homes.

The research team is comprised of a student in the PhD in Nursing Program and four dissertation committee members. The primary mentor and Principal Investigator in charge of this study has expertise in psychiatric nursing and reflective practice. Additional dissertation committee members have expertise in: Gerontology (Gerontologist-Gernotological Clinical Nurse Specialist); research using interpretive phenomenology and narrative pedagogy; and psychiatric and mental health nursing with expertise in complexity and clinical reasoning. The student's role is co-investigator for this study.

  • KEYWORDS: residents,
  • meaning,
  • descriptive qualitative study.
Citation Information
Nila Reimer. "Residents' Descriptions of What Makes Meaning in Nursing Homes" Midwest Nursing Research Society (2011)
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