Print version ISSN 1657-5997
BELTRAN-SALAZAR, Óscar Alberto. Coping with a Serious Illness. Aquichán [online]. 2010, vol.10, n.3, pp. 214-227. ISSN 1657-5997.
Objective: Describe what it means to be seriously ill and hospitalized in an ICU. Methodology: This is a qualitative study based on grounded theory and conducted in Medellín, Colombia from April to October, 2006 with nine adults between the ages of 24 and 80 who were critically ill and hospitalized in an ICU. In-depth interviews were used to gather information, which was analyzed pursuant to the scheme proposed by Cohen, Kahan and Steeves. Results: Patients must do their part in order to cope with an illness. The study describes the personal and external means employed by the participants to accept and adapt to an illness and to lessen its threatening conditions. Discussion: Patients who experience a serious illness take advantage of internal personal resources and certain kinds of social support such as that provided by family, religion, nurses, friends, acquaintances, and even people they do not know. Conclusion: Personal and social resources help patients to cope with the emotions sparked by a situation they cannot resolve on their own, such as suffering from a serious illness.
Keywords : Nursing care; social support; nurse-patient relations; critical illness.