‘There is goodness in life, even when living with HIV’: an exploration using caritative caring

(Translated from the Finnish)
Christel Estlander
Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland

There are many challenges for people living with HIV (PLWH). People can react in different ways after diagnosis, and for some it can be a traumatic and very negative event. They deal with their diagnosis either alone or with extra psychological and social support at a clinic. It is in this context that caring science, developed by Watson [1], and caritative caring knowledge, proposed by Kate Eriksson [2,3], provide possible approaches to conquer challenges and difficulties associated with living with HIV, and are consistent with the use of meta-theories of caring in nursing science [4]. These strategies provide nurses with words and expressions to describe issues and phenomena that allow effective discussions around systematic care with patients and colleagues. For nurses working in HIV care this can mean that, instead of relying on assumptions or personal instincts, more appropriate terms for discussion and reaching conclusions can be provided.
Caritative caring theory emerged from the Åbo Akademi University, Finland, in the 1970s based on the work of Eriksson, and developed through etymological studies tested in nursing praxis according to Gadamer’s Hermeneutical Study Methodology [5]. The development of caring science theory has grown from that time into what it is today (Figure 1). All caring activity comes from the heart of the caregiver who can use all the caring methods shown in Figure 1 when interacting with an individual. All activities are documented in a care plan that includes actions and evaluations of the caring results. Read more…