Dissatisfaction with appearance is a common phenomenon, more frequent among women than men (Frisén & Holmqvist 2010, Neighbors & Sobal 2007) but so common that it can be considered a norm (Tantleff-Dunn, Barnes & Larose 2011). Health professionals are therefore in contact with the phenomenon on a regular basis in different health settings. Previous research have shown that health professionals experience time constraints and lack of confidence in relation to patients’ appearance issues (Persson et al 2009; Konradsen et al 2009). Little is however known about the resources needed from the professionals’ point of view. The aim of the study was therefore to explore the phenomenon from a nursing perspective in general and with particular emphasis on resources needed.
Five semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted with 24 health professionals in total (19 women and 5 men). Their age varied from approximately 20 to 45 years, with adherent variation in professional experience from a variety of health settings. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed through thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The study was done in accordance with the Swedish Law of Research Ethics, SFS 2003:460.
The analysis resulted in the two themes knowledge development and operative support, representing different resources needed according to the respondents. The respondents own knowledge and professional competence was constantly referred to as the most important resource. The findings showed the importance of appearance being included in their education, the need for a continuous process of reflection and learning on an individual level but also on group level in terms of collegial learning. In order for the knowledge and competence to be put into practice there was also need for operative support. Sufficient time for communicating with the patients and the need for appropriate technical support in some nursing situations were emphasized by the participants.
The findings clearly shows the central role that health professionals have in relation to patients’ appearance issues and their need for resources. The findings adds to existing body of knowledge and can be used as a framework for health promotion strategies in health settings, with regards to patients’ appearance issues and distress. More research as well as action is needed from a nursing as well as public health perspective.
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
|Event||Appearance Matters 8 Conference, Bath, i England - |
Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …
|Conference||Appearance Matters 8 Conference, Bath, i England|
|Period||80-01-01 → …|
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Medical and Health Sciences (3)