Mental health-promoting dialogues from the perspective of community-dwelling seniors with multimorbidity
Åke Grundberg,1 Britt Ebbeskog,2 Sanna Aila Gustafsson,3 Dorota Religa1
1Division of Neurogeriatrics, 2Division of Nursing, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 3Psychiatric Research Centre, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
Abstract: Mental health promotion needs to be studied more deeply within the context of primary care, because persons with multiple chronic conditions are at risk of developing poor mental health. In order to make progress in the understanding of mental health promotion, the aim of this study was to describe the experiences of health-promoting dialogues from the perspective of community-dwelling seniors with multimorbidity – what these seniors believe is important for achieving a dialogue that may promote their mental health. Seven interviews with six women and one man, aged 83–96 years, were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The results were summarized into nine subcategories and three categories. The underlying meaning of the text was formulated into an overarching theme that embraced every category, “perceived and well-managed as a unique individual”. These seniors with multimorbidity missed someone to talk to about their mental health, and needed partners that were accessible for health dialogues that could promote mental health. The participants missed friends and relatives to talk to and they (crucially) lacked health care or social service providers for health-promoting dialogues that may promote mental health. An optimal level of care can be achieved through involvement, continuity, and by providing a health-promoting dialogue based on seniors’ needs and wishes, with the remembrance that general health promotion also may promote mental health. Implications for clinical practice and further research are discussed.
Keywords: aged, care of older people, mental health-promotion, municipal care
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