The importance of existential dimensions in the context of the presence of older patients at team meetings—In the light of Heidegger and Merleau-Pontys philosophy




The aim of the present study is to explore interpersonal dimensions of the presence of older patients at team meetings. The theoretical foundation of the study is grounded in caring science and lifeworld phenomenology. The results from two empirical studies, that indicated the need for a more in-depth examination of the interpersonal relationships when an older patient is present at a team meeting, were further explicated by philosophical examination in the light of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty's philosophy. The empirical studies were performed in a hospital ward for older people, where the traditional rounds had been replaced by a team meeting, to which the patients were invited. The analysis of the general structure and philosophical examination followed the principles of reflective lifeworld research. The philosophical examination is presented in four meaning structures: mood as a force in existence; to exist in a world with others; loneliness in the presence of others; and the lived body as extending. In conclusion, professionals must consider patients’ existential issues in the way they are expressed by the patients. Existence extends beyond the present situation. Accordingly, the team meeting must be seen in a larger context, including the patients’ life as a whole, as well as the ontological and epistemological foundations on which healthcare is based.



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