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Frail Elders' Experiences With and Perceptions of Health

Journal article
Authors Zahra Ebrahimi
Katarina Wilhelmson
C. D. Moore
Annika Jakobsson
Published in Qualitative Health Research
Volume 22
Issue 11
Pages 1513-1523
ISSN 1049-7323
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 1513-1523
Language en
Keywords aging, Giorgi, health and well-being, lived experience, older people, phenomenology, vulnerable, qualitative research, disability, illness, people
Subject categories Health Sciences


In this study we explored frail elders' experiences with and perceptions of the phenomenon of health so as to develop a deeper understanding of living with diseases and disorders in old age. Frail elders participated in qualitative interviews that explored the meaning of the phenomenon of health for them. Eleven men and 11 women, who had diverse ratings of self-perceived health ranging from poor to excellent, were selected by means of a purposeful strategic sampling of frail elders taken from a broader sample that participated in a larger quantitative study on health. In total, 22 individual interviews were analyzed using Giorgi's descriptive phenomenology. We found that frail elders described health as being in harmony and balance in everyday life, and this occurred when participants were able to adjust to the demands of their daily lives in the context of their resources and capabilities.

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