"We are the barriers"

Danish general practitioners’ interpretations of why the existential and spiritual dimensions are neglected in patient care

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although it is broadly recognized that health problems often involve existential and spiritual dimensions, recent research shows that these aspects of illness are rarely attended to by health professionals. Studies explain this in terms of barriers to communication, but health professionals' firsthand experiences and interpretations have so far been largely unexplored. Drawing on the theoretical traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutics, the present study presents Danish general practitioners' (GPS') experiences and interpretations of why the existential and spiritual dimensions are marginalized in patient care. We conducted seven focus groups, constituting a total sample of 31 GPS. Based on the analytic strategy of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), our analysis revealed that the GPS experienced and interpreted individual barriers as created and fostered within dominant biomedical and secular cultures that are characterized as 'solution focused' and 'faith frightened'. Many GPS further understand themselves as barriers, because they are enculturated into these dominating cultures. We discuss these findings through theoretical concepts such as 'secondary socialization', 'system colonization' and 'secularization', and suggest interventions that might challenge current practice culture.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication & Medicine : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Healthcare, Ethics and Society
Volume14
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)108-120
ISSN1612-1783
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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General Practitioners
Communication Barriers
Health Communication
Health
Focus Groups
Research
Hermeneutics

Keywords

  • Biopsychosocial-existential
  • General practice
  • Physician-patient communication
  • Spiritual
  • Patient Care
  • Spirituality
  • General Practitioners
  • Humans
  • Denmark
  • Religion and Medicine

Cite this

@article{6b8e5b7bfaa2484fa88f4deed54b9d4e,
title = "{"}We are the barriers{"}: Danish general practitioners’ interpretations of why the existential and spiritual dimensions are neglected in patient care",
abstract = "Although it is broadly recognized that health problems often involve existential and spiritual dimensions, recent research shows that these aspects of illness are rarely attended to by health professionals. Studies explain this in terms of barriers to communication, but health professionals' firsthand experiences and interpretations have so far been largely unexplored. Drawing on the theoretical traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutics, the present study presents Danish general practitioners' (GPS') experiences and interpretations of why the existential and spiritual dimensions are marginalized in patient care. We conducted seven focus groups, constituting a total sample of 31 GPS. Based on the analytic strategy of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), our analysis revealed that the GPS experienced and interpreted individual barriers as created and fostered within dominant biomedical and secular cultures that are characterized as 'solution focused' and 'faith frightened'. Many GPS further understand themselves as barriers, because they are enculturated into these dominating cultures. We discuss these findings through theoretical concepts such as 'secondary socialization', 'system colonization' and 'secularization', and suggest interventions that might challenge current practice culture.",
keywords = "Biopsychosocial-existential, General practice, Physician-patient communication, Spiritual, Patient Care, Spirituality, General Practitioners, Humans, Denmark, Religion and Medicine",
author = "{Assing Hvidt}, Elisabeth and Jens S{\o}ndergaard and Hansen, {Dorte Gils{\aa}} and P{\aa}l Gulbrandsen and Jette Ammentorp and Connie Timmermann and Hvidt, {Niels Christian}",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1558/cam.32147",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "108--120",
journal = "Communication & Medicine - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Healthcare, Ethics and Society",
issn = "1612-1783",
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number = "2",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - "We are the barriers"

T2 - Danish general practitioners’ interpretations of why the existential and spiritual dimensions are neglected in patient care

AU - Assing Hvidt, Elisabeth

AU - Søndergaard, Jens

AU - Hansen, Dorte Gilså

AU - Gulbrandsen, Pål

AU - Ammentorp, Jette

AU - Timmermann, Connie

AU - Hvidt, Niels Christian

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Although it is broadly recognized that health problems often involve existential and spiritual dimensions, recent research shows that these aspects of illness are rarely attended to by health professionals. Studies explain this in terms of barriers to communication, but health professionals' firsthand experiences and interpretations have so far been largely unexplored. Drawing on the theoretical traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutics, the present study presents Danish general practitioners' (GPS') experiences and interpretations of why the existential and spiritual dimensions are marginalized in patient care. We conducted seven focus groups, constituting a total sample of 31 GPS. Based on the analytic strategy of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), our analysis revealed that the GPS experienced and interpreted individual barriers as created and fostered within dominant biomedical and secular cultures that are characterized as 'solution focused' and 'faith frightened'. Many GPS further understand themselves as barriers, because they are enculturated into these dominating cultures. We discuss these findings through theoretical concepts such as 'secondary socialization', 'system colonization' and 'secularization', and suggest interventions that might challenge current practice culture.

AB - Although it is broadly recognized that health problems often involve existential and spiritual dimensions, recent research shows that these aspects of illness are rarely attended to by health professionals. Studies explain this in terms of barriers to communication, but health professionals' firsthand experiences and interpretations have so far been largely unexplored. Drawing on the theoretical traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutics, the present study presents Danish general practitioners' (GPS') experiences and interpretations of why the existential and spiritual dimensions are marginalized in patient care. We conducted seven focus groups, constituting a total sample of 31 GPS. Based on the analytic strategy of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), our analysis revealed that the GPS experienced and interpreted individual barriers as created and fostered within dominant biomedical and secular cultures that are characterized as 'solution focused' and 'faith frightened'. Many GPS further understand themselves as barriers, because they are enculturated into these dominating cultures. We discuss these findings through theoretical concepts such as 'secondary socialization', 'system colonization' and 'secularization', and suggest interventions that might challenge current practice culture.

KW - Biopsychosocial-existential

KW - General practice

KW - Physician-patient communication

KW - Spiritual

KW - Patient Care

KW - Spirituality

KW - General Practitioners

KW - Humans

KW - Denmark

KW - Religion and Medicine

U2 - 10.1558/cam.32147

DO - 10.1558/cam.32147

M3 - Journal article

VL - 14

SP - 108

EP - 120

JO - Communication & Medicine - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Healthcare, Ethics and Society

JF - Communication & Medicine - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Healthcare, Ethics and Society

SN - 1612-1783

IS - 2

ER -