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The meaning of fracturing a hip for elderly community-dwelling women Ursic, Pauline Ann


This study describes the meaning of fracturing a hip for elderly community-dwelling women. To provide collaborative, individualized and meaningful care for patients, it is imperative that nurses understand what the experience of fracturing a hip is like for the elderly individual. Giorgi's phenomenological approach was used to explore the hip fracture experience from the women's perspective. Data were collected through fourteen unstructured audiotaped interviews with six women who had fractured their hip. Analysis occurred concurrently with data collection. The findings indicate that the overall experience of fracturing a hip is characterized by a sense of loss of control. The loss of control threatens the elderly individual's self-esteem and causes her to reevaluate her self-perceptions, beliefs about aging and expectations for the future. The elderly women used various coping behaviours in an attempt to establish some control over their situation including attempting to make sense of the fall event, taking action, thinking positively and maintaining a positive attitude. The findings emphasize the need for nurses to assist elderly individuals to develop a variety of coping behaviours aimed at regaining elements of control and reaffirming self-esteem. Implications for nursing practice, education and research were identified and recommendations presented.

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