To explore nurses' strategies that may support the sense of coherence in people with dementia.
People with dementia are often described as people with no resources, people who need support from family or from healthcare personnel to function in everyday life. Despite the disease, some people still have the resources needed to cope well with parts of their lives and experience coherence. To date, no research has explored any nurses' strategies that may support the sense of coherence in people with dementia.
The design of the study is qualitative and exploratory.
Data were collected by participant observation and focus group interviews. Sixteen registered nurses from two different Norwegian nursing homes were recruited and participated in the study. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data.
The empirical material consisted of field notes from participant observation and transcripts from focus group interviews. Three generic categories were identified as strategies that may support sense of coherence in people with dementia: 'Finding and nurturing the individual's resources', 'Customising meaningful activities' and 'Finding creative solutions'. These categories were identified as strategies that may support and possibly enhance the sense of coherence in people with dementia.
The findings provide an empirical base for assuming that with support and help from nurses, people with dementia may experience and strengthen their sense of coherence, therefore, the nurses need to be aware of the activities that may support and possibly enhance the sense of coherence in people with dementia.
Despite the contextual limitations, this study highlights the need to identify and nurture resources in people with dementia, thus supporting their sense of coherence. The findings may contribute in enhancing the quality of care for people with dementia.