Published on January 13, 2008
FAITH-HEALTH INTEGRATION: FAITH-HEALTH INTEGRATION IN THE CHURCH AFFILIATED FRAIL ELDER Researchers’ Background: Researchers’ Background Parish Nursing Gerontological Nursing Nursing Education Caregivers for Elderly Family Members RESEARCH QUESTIONS: RESEARCH QUESTIONS What is the impact of faith on changing health in the frail elderly person? What is the impact of changing health on faith in the frail elderly person? Interview Questions:: Interview Questions: How would you describe your health at this time? How would you describe your relationship with God at this time? With the Church? Methodology: phenomenology: Methodology: phenomenology Research Teams: In-depth interviews with ten church-affiliated frail elders over time. Audio-taping and note taking. Selection of subjects Assumptions and Dilemmas: Assumptions and Dilemmas Ethical concerns Neuro-sensory changes Consent over time Demographic Summary: Demographic Summary Ages: 74-97 Av. 86 Gender: 8 females, 2 males Living Arrangements 5 ind. Apts 3 own home 2 monastery, mission Church Affiliation: Roman Catholic and Protestant Medical Diagnoses: 4 had 3 or more Chronic illnesses Areas of frailness: endurance, pain, balance Activities of Daily Living:: Activities of Daily Living: Personal hygiene Eating Reading Conversation Shopping Lifting Walking Cleaning Overall health: self rating: Overall health: self rating 1 – “poor health” 5 – “health is changing” 4 – “health is maintaining” Findings:: Findings: Faith and doubt may co-exist Elders have a great need for meaning, purpose and giving Narrative is useful as research and as intervention Speak of limitations rather than diagnoses Findings, continued: Findings, continued Do not look to the church for physical help Experience isolation from the church and its staff Limit the role of the parish nurse to physical care Compare themselves to other seniors Summary: : Summary: The integration of faith and health is nurtured by relationships with others Health is described by relational and comparative function Church affiliated elders’ relationships with God and church reflect growth, intensity, fluidity and paradox. The church influences in positive and negative ways.