Living in limbo while one’s identity is changing: Patients’ existential experiences 6 months after a kidney transplantation with a living donor

Ingrid Villadsen Kristensen*, Regner Birkelund, Jette Henriksen, Annelise Norlyk

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Abstrakt

Aim: To investigate patients’ existential experiences in everyday life after a kidney transplantation with a living donor. Design: A qualitative study anchored in a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach inspired by Ricoeur's theory of narrative and interpretation. Method: Eleven patient interviews were conducted approximately 6 months after a kidney transplantation with a living donor. The interviews were conducted between August 2017–May 2019. Analysis and interpretation are based on Ricoeur's theory of interpretation. Results: Four themes were identified: Experiencing bodily vulnerability while getting back to life; Feeling guilt while experiencing gratitude; Living in limbo while one's identity is changing; and Facing the future with hope while having reservations. Conclusion: This study reveals that patients experience multifaceted existential challenges in their everyday lives during the transition of the kidney transplantation process. Post-surgery complications for donors lead to feelings of guilt in patients; plus, they must adapt to a new existence, including a new identity. The patients feel they are in limbo, as they experience their existence as uncertain and their identity as unknown. Impact: The study highlights a need for developing a rehabilitation programme to address the individual and various existential challenges faced by patients who need to undergo a kidney transplantation.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Advanced Nursing
Vol/bind77
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)1403-1410
ISSN0309-2402
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021

Emneord

  • Ricoeur
  • end-stage renal disease
  • existential experiences
  • kidney transplantation
  • nursing
  • qualitative research

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