Mötets kalejdoskop - det vårdande mötets skiftande mönster

Gunilla Holopainen

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


The main aim of this study, which takes a hermeneutical approach, is to deepen the understanding of the caring encounter by uncovering what constitutes the encounter and what is caring in the encounter. Through a clearly defined caring science perspective, which originates in the theory of caritative caring, the aim is to develop a theoretical model for a caring encounter. The dissertation’s research question is: What is a caring encounter? This study is an article-based dissertation based on four different scientific articles. The frame story asks the following questions: What constitutes the interpersonal encounter? What constitutes the caring encounter? What is caring in the encounter? The material of the four studies consists of philosophical texts, questionnaires, patient stories as well as caring science articles. The methods used are hermeneutical reading and interpretation inspired by Ricoeur and content analysis according to Rodgers’s model. The frame story reinterprets the four studies in the light of each other, and through explanation an understanding of the caring encounter as a whole emerges. All the different parts of the study follow current ethical principles for research. The results show that the encounter may take place in presence, availability and openness through the nurse’s responsibility for the calling, promise and invitation. In the spatial dimension of the encounter a space is created for the other and for the self, where nurse and patient are also allowed to be human beings. The nurse’s way of being determines the model of this space. In the temporal dimension of the encounter is found an intense moment that can be both timeless and wordless. In the stories of the encounter, recognition of oneself and the other occurs, and this helps the patient recover his or her former self. This, in turn, alleviates suffering and promotes health. The understanding derived can be expressed in the following assumptions: - The prerequisites for an encounter are presence, availability and openness. To the nurse’s duties belong a specific responsibility for the call to an encounter, the promise of an encounter and an invitation to an encounter. - The interpersonal encounter is created in the space of togetherness, where the recognition of sameness – being a human being – takes place. This provides an insight into the universal – that all of us are human beings. - The caring encounter is created in the space of community where the recognition of selfhood – what is unique – takes place. It gives an understanding of the particular, otherness – that, as human beings, we are all unique. The nurse is responsible for the fulfillment of the prerequisites. - Beyond togetherness and community is the space of communion, a space of timelessness, where the human being, the patient and the nurse, are illuminated by the glimpse of the holy, which bestows life and meaning. These assumptions are illustrated through a theoretical model where the caring encounter is constituted by the merging of time and place and enclose the human beings, the patient and the nurse, while simultaneously a glimpse of the holy emerges. The encounter can be seen as the unique picture in a kaleidoscope where all the patterns vary.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Print ISBNs978-952-12-3443-9
Electronic ISBNs978-952-12-3444-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • Hermeneutics

Cite this