‘A change in the men’s everyday lives’ – a grounded theory study

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Ann Karin Helgesen


BackgroundResearch to date indicates that most nursing homes offer various kinds of activities for their residents, but that these are seldom tailored to each individual person. In respect of activities, it is reasonable to assume that male residents are at particular risk of not receiving person-centred care as they inhabit a largely ‘female domain’, where the majority of personnel and often also of residents are female. Few studies to date have focused on activities for men in nursing homes.AimThe aim of this study was to explore male residents’ experiences of an activity programme in a nursing home in Norway.DesignThe study had an explorative Grounded Theory (GT) design. Data were collected by means of interviews with nine residents. All of the men were offered an activity at least once a week as part of a project over the preceding year.According to the basic principles of grounded theory sampling, data collection and analysis are carried out simultaneously using constant comparison.Findings The core category showed that there was ‘a change in the men’s everyday lives’ after the special activity programme – for men only –  was offered. Their own influence on the content of the conversations and on the activity itself was described as limited. This was not important for them, as the most essential issues were ‘being together’ and ‘getting away’. Conditions relating to the men themselves, the place where the activities were held and the nursing personnel had an impact on how important the activity programme was for them.ConclusionsA more person-centred approach in future activity programmes will enhance the residents’ integrity and well-being, and allow them a degree of self-determination even while resident in a nursing home.       

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