Our featured article starting January 27th is titled “Patient Experiences of Loneliness: An Evolutionary Concept Analysis,” authored by Liisa Karhe, RN, MNSc and Marja Kaunonen, RN, MNSc, PhD. Their analysis provides useful insights about patient loneliness in relationships with healthcare professionals. Visit the ANS website to download this article at no cost while it is featured! Ms. Karhe provided this background about her work that resulted in this article:
Loneliness is an old and much used concept but its content is often not understood. My interest in the phenomenon of loneliness began during my master studies years ago. I made a concept analysis of the concept of presence in a nursing relationship context and I found loneliness as the opposite concept of loneliness. I had recognized the phenomenon of presence and loneliness in my patients in intensive care units. There was a clear difference in how the nurse was present at a patient bedside. My professors recommended that I read the philosophy of Martin Buber. I found theoretical confirmation that this philosophy is applicable to the context of a nursing relationship between a patient and a professional nurse. I decided to explore this phenomenon in my dissertation. I was surprised that this topic was not found in other studies. Many nursing studies included loneliness without explanation, or the authors described loneliness using classical loneliness theories. I thought that the different dimensions of loneliness had quite different meanings in nursing context. So I had no other option than to pursue an evolutionary concept analysis and to find out the uses of the concept of loneliness in the nursing and health care context. As well, from a nursing point of view, it is very significant to understand dimensions of loneliness in the context of nursing relationships. This evolutionary analysis served as the basis for my qualitative and quantitative research, which I have continued together with my dissertation supervisor Marja.
I hope you will read this interesting article, then return here to share your comments!