Promoting the quality of life of elderly people in nursing home care : a hermeneutical approach
The research described in this thesis addresses two central issues. The first issue concerns the development of a series of practice standards that will promote the quality of the lives of older people who live in nursing homes. However, before this professional issue is addressed, it is necessary to explore the meaning of the underlying concept the quality of life, and this constitutes the second issue.The purpose of this research is therefore to develop a concept of the quality of life that can adequately support a series of practice standards. The thesis is presented in five parts. Part one outlines the theoretical context of the study. It contains two chapters. The first discusses philosophical hermeneutics, which forms the conceptual and methodological framework of the research; and the second reviews aspects of the literature of the quality of life and evaluates it in terms of the purposes of the research. Part two of the thesis describes the empirical phase of the research, including the approach to data collection and the analytical strategy that was used. In part three the findings are presented, and in part four their implications are discussed for the organisation of care, and practice standards are derived. Part five evaluates the research, paying particular attention to the usefulness of philosophical hermeneutics, and suggestions are made for further research.