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July 2021

Health as continuity and balance in life

Author(s): Benner, P. E., Lipson, J. G., Ekman, S. L.

Journal/Book: Western J Nurs Res. 2000; 22: 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA. Sage Publications Inc. 812-825.

Abstract: Research on immigrant health emphasizes that the elderly are more vulnerable than other age groups in many immigrant populations. This study describes the meanings of health, illness, and disease for Iranian elderly immigrants in Sweden and their relationships with life disruptions. Analysis of interviews using an interprerive-phenomenological method illustrates that the participants experience health as continuity and balance in life. Any disruption of this balance creates a sense of illness that is only partially related to the emergence of disease. Participants did nor view health and disease as polarized. Rather disease is just one component among many that may disrupt the experience of health. Health is perceived as a sense of well-being, can be achieved in spite of disease, and can be disrupted even in the absence of disease. This description of the meaning of health, disease, and illness contrasts with the Western biomedical perspective and is similar in its holism to various non-Western medical systems and complementary approaches. This knowledge can foster more culturally sensitive care.

Note: Article Emami A, Karolinska Inst, Ctr Elderly Care Res, Dept Clin Neurosci Occupat Therapy & Elderly Care, Stockholm, SWEDEN


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