Understanding between care providers and patients with stroke and aphasia: a phenomenological hermeneutic inquiry

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The present study illuminates the understanding in communication between formal care providers and patients with stroke and aphasia. Five care providers and three such patients participated in the study. Video recordings were made during conversations about pictures (n = 15), and the care providers were also interviewed (n = 15) after the video-recorded conversations. A phenomenological hermeneutic method of interpretation of the interview text was used. The findings showed that a range of conditions for ‘understanding and being understood’ in the communication on the part of the care providers exists. These different conditions are: lacking both knowledge and understanding; having knowledge but not necessarily accompanied by understanding; and being in understanding. Within the condition ‘being in understanding’, the care providers create a feeling of at-homeness in a relaxed atmosphere and thus have the opportunity to be in ‘understanding and being understood’ together with the patient. The condition ‘being in understanding’ appears in connection with the care providers' creating of a ‘calm liturgy of caring’ by mediating humility and calm vitality affects to the patients, and further, when needed, being present on the level of mystery, i.e. caring communion.

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