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A phenomenological study on resilience of the elderly suffering from chronic disease: a qualitative study

Authors Hassani P, Izadi-Avanji FS, Rakhshan M, Alavi Majd H

Received 2 September 2016

Accepted for publication 14 November 2016

Published 7 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 59—67

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S121336

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Parkhide Hassani,1 Fatemeh-Sadat Izadi-Avanji,2 Mahnaz Rakhshan,3 Hamid Alavi Majd4

1Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 2Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, International Branch of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 3Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; 4Department of Biostatistics, Facility of Paramedical, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Background: Resilience is a key factor in improving health and attenuating problems caused by chronic diseases in the elderly. Having a clear understanding of its meaning in a specific population can be of great help in taking efficient steps toward better health services. Given the lack of information in this regard, the aim of this study was to understand the meaning of resilience for hospitalized older people who experience chronic conditions.
Methods: The study was carried out as a qualitative work based on a descriptive phenomenological approach. The participants were selected purposefully, so that 22 elderly with chronic disease were interviewed in 24 sessions. The collected data were recorded and analyzed through Colaizzi’s method.
Results: Four themes were extracted from the interviews as follows: 1) “meaning of resilience in the participants’ experiences” with subthemes of “the art of overcoming pain and suffering”, “adapt to health problem of senescence”, “accepting life with the chronic disease”, and “patience and trust in God”; 2) “growth context as a prologue of resilience” with subthemes of “growth background”; 3) “external factors contributing to resilience” with subthemes of “welfare”, “received support”, “deprivation and shortage”, and “attitudes toward an elderly with health problem”; and 4) “personal factors to overcome illness” with subthemes of “enthusiasm for following up the treatment program”, “aversion to physical dependence”, “hope for improvement”, “motivation and purpose”, and “being content with one’s belongings and blessings”.
Conclusion: Improvement in resilience is associated with a patient-oriented approach. Providers of health services might make proper interventions based on unique needs of patients to improve their resilience and ability to overcome health problems. This can be performed by family members, health team, and related organizations and bodies.

Keywords: chronic disease, resilience, aged, qualitative studies

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