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Calibrating and adjusting expectations in life: A grounded theory on how elderly persons with somatic health problems maintain control and balance in life and optimize well-being
Innlandet Hospital Trust, Division Tynset, Norway & Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway & St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.
St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway & Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 6, no 1, article id 6030Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: This study aims at exploring the main concern for elderly individuals with somatic health problems and what they do to manage this.

Method: In total, 14 individuals (mean-74.2 years; range-68-86 years) of both gender including hospitalized and outpatient persons participated in the study. Open interviews were conducted and analyzed according to grounded theory, an inductive theory-generating method.

Results: The main concern for the elderly individuals with somatic health problems was identified as their striving to maintain control and balance in life. The analysis ended up in a substantive theory explaining how elderly individuals with somatic disease were calibrating and adjusting their expectations in life in order to adapt to their reduced energy level, health problems, and aging. By adjusting the expectations to their actual abilities, the elderly can maintain a sense of that they still have the control over their lives and create stability. The ongoing adjustment process is facilitated by different strategies and result despite lower expectations in subjective well-being. The facilitating strategies are utilizing the network of important others, enjoying cultural heritage, being occupied with interests, having a mission to fulfill, improving the situation by limiting boundaries and, finally, creating meaning in everyday life.

Conclusion: The main concern of the elderly with somatic health problems was to maintain control and balance in life. The emerging theory explains how elderly people with somatic health problems calibrate their expectations of life in order to adjust to reduced energy, health problems, and aging. This process is facilitated by different strategies and result despite lower expectation in subjective well-being. © 2011 A.-S. Helvik et al.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon: Taylor & Francis, 2011. Vol. 6, no 1, article id 6030
Keywords [en]
Grounded theory, well-being, life expectations, social network, cultural heritage, meaning in life, coping
National Category
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-37506DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v6i1.6030PubMedID: 21468299Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84863429801OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-37506DiVA, id: diva2:1232346
Note

Funding: The research was funded in collaboration between The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, Innlandet Hospital Trust and Norwegian Nurses Organization.

Available from: 2018-07-11 Created: 2018-07-11 Last updated: 2018-07-11Bibliographically approved

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Hallberg, Lillemor R-M

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