Despite the fact of increased levels of alcohol dependency in women and gender differences in how the disease affects men and women, the research on alcohol dependency continues to have a dominating perspective on men. The meaning of the phenomenon of caring in formal care for women with alcohol dependency is not well known. Thus, formal caregivers may find it problematic to know what is caring for women with alcohol dependency. The aim of the study was to illuminate the meaning of caring in formal care for women with alcohol dependency, as narrated by the women. The study was performed using a phenomenological-hermeneutic method. Data were collected in ten in-depth interviews with alcohol-dependent women. The themes presented are availability, being a patient and being a learner. The findings reveal that the women with alcohol dependency receiving a mandate from formal care, experience the relation between them and their caregiver as a mutual transformation. Within the mutual transformation, the participants experienced being respected as a responsible human being which renders possibilities for the women with alcohol dependency to continue in formal care even when the struggle against the disease became hard. Continual meetings with the caregiver allowed the women to gain structure in their daily life as well as allowing the women and their caregivers to develop mutual transformation, which both relieved the women's suffering and increased their experience of being involved in the care process.
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Nursing (30305)
- alcohol dependency
- phenomenological hermeneutics