The core of love when caring for patients suffering from addiction

Kari Thorkildsen, Katie Eriksson, Maj-Britt Råholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Drug addiction is a serious health problem. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the core of love when caring for patients suffering from addiction The study had a hermeneutical approach. Four nurses working at a detoxification unit were interviewed. Data were interpreted using a hermeneutical text interpretation based on Gadamer’s hermeneutics. The results revealed the core of love in four dimensions: love as an inner driving force, searching for the human being behind the addiction, faith in the inner power of human beings and love as a movement of giving and receiving.The hermeneutical interpretation revealed the core of love as sacrifice, showing that sacrifice is an ethical dimension and that sacrifice involves searching for the patient’s ontological suffering. Sacrifice is connected to faith, and faith in love is decisive for a life without drugs. Sacrifice involves being mutual gifts to one another, a self-reinforcing motion of sacrifice that energizes the nurses to go on with their work.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)353–360
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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