1st Edition

Caring and Well-being A Lifeworld Approach

By Kathleen Galvin, Les Todres Copyright 2013
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Something is missing in contemporary health and social care. Health and illness is often measured in policy documents in economic terms, and clinical outcomes are enmeshed in statistical data, with the patient’s experience left to one side. This stimulating book is concerned with how to humanise health and social care and keep the person at the centre of practice.

    Caring and Well-Being opens by articulating Galvin and Todres’ innovative framework for humanising health care and closes with a synthesis of their argument and a discussion of how this can be applied in healthcare policy and practice. It:

    • presents an innovative lifeworld-led approach to the humanisation of care;
    • explores the concept of well-being and its relationship to suffering and outlines the rationale for a focus on them within this approach;
    • discusses how the framework can be applied and how health and social practitioners can draw on aesthetic and empathic avenues to help develop their capacity for care;
    • provides direction for policy, practice and education.

    Investigating what it means to be human in a health and social care context and what the things that make us feel more human are, this book presents new perspectives about how professionals can enhance their capacity for humanly sensitive care. It is a valuable work for all those interested in ideas about care and caring in a health and social context, including psychologists, doctors and nurses.

    Introduction: The Need for Humanised Care  Part 1: Humanising Healthcare: A Lifeworld Approach  1. A Value Framework for the Humanisation of Care  2. A Lifeworld Approach: Revisiting a Humanising Philosophy that Provides an Experiential Context for Considering Health and Illness  3. Lifeworld-led Healthcare is More than Patient-led Care  4. Caring for a Partner with Alzheimer’s: an Illustration of Research-based Knowledge for Lifeworld-led Care  Part 2: Well-being and Suffering: the Focus of Care  5. An Existential Theory of Well-being: ‘Dwelling-Mobility’  6. Kinds of Well-being: Eighteen Directions for Caring  7. Kinds of Suffering: Caring for Vulnerability  8. An Illustration of Well-being as Dwelling-Mobility: Older Peoples’ Experiences of Living in Rural Areas  Part 3: Developing the Capacity to Care  9. The Creativity of ‘Unspecialisation’: Contemplative Knowledge and Practical Wisdom  10. Complex Knowledge to Underpin Caring: Embodied Relational Understanding  11. Embodied Interpretation: One Way of Re-presenting Research Findings that may Serve to Sensitise the Empathic Imagination  12. Embodying Nursing Openheartedness: An Illustration of a Core Capacity for Caring  13. Conclusion: Caring for Well-being


    Kathleen Galvin is Professor of Nursing Practice in the Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, UK.

    Les Todres is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Health Philosophy at the School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University, UK.

    ‘I congratulate Galvin and Todres for placing well-being and the person, with all of his or her complexities, at the center of our discipline. Caring and Well-being: A Lifeworld Approach is a milestone that will significantly shake nursing, moving our profession firmly into the domain of humanized health care. It is a must-read for every nurse academic, student and clinician.’ – Janice M. Morse, Professor and Barnes Presidential Endowed Chair at the University of Utah College of Nursing, USA; Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta, Canada; and Honorary Professor, Bournemouth University, UK.

    ‘This book is philosophically grounded, clinically relevant, informed by the best of qualitative research, and written with a genuine concern for the well-being of patients as well as the professionals who provide care for them. Galvin and Todres demonstrate how a solid understanding of patients as persons is both humane and eminently practical. Caring and Well-being is far more than a critique of how the relational and social aspects of care are overshadowed by the technical. It is a powerful guide for how we can move forward and create a healthier approach to treatment. The authors are practitioners and researchers who care deeply, have studied these issues thoroughly, and who in clear and eloquent prose remind us of what is at the heart of working in a caring and thoughtful way with patients.’ – Steen Halling, Professor of Psychology, Seattle University, USA.

    ‘Galvin and Todres offer a bold and passionately humane approach to healthcare. Their call to counterbalance the efficiency-driven, technology-based culture of healthcare with an emphasis on the experience of illness and suffering is timely and well-placed. Their approach is philosophically sophisticated, rooted in real-life healthcare practice, and genuinely innovative. In particular, their emphasis on seeing health as part of wellbeing and illness as part of the broader notion of suffering, demonstrates the philosophical innovation of their work. Their proposal to develop a "lifeworld-led healthcare" (contrasted with "patient-led care") and to understand illness in terms of existential homelessness turns attention to the pressing need to offer healthcare that is not just patient-centred, but one that is also engaged with the existential dimensions of illness and is authentically compassionate.’ – Havi Carel, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of the West of England, UK.

    ‘This book is a significant and scholarly contribution to the health sciences, founded on a theoretical treatise developed over several years by Galvin and Todres. The text presents a conceptual framework that articulates alternative ways to approach health-related caring and well-being in order to create a basis for more humanised forms of health-care delivery. The work derides the reductionist view of the body as dehumanising and instead offers an alternative view via a value-base that "does justice" to the breadth and depth of being human. The work draws extensively on epistemological and ontological tenets that are central to phenomenological and existential philosophy, as well as offering significant contributions from qualitative health and social science research, including that of the authors. In doing so, Galvin and Todres provide an eloquent model of life-world led care, one that involves conceptualising eight humanising dimensions that are meaningfully contrasted against those considered dehumanising. It is a lively and thought provoking exploration of what constitutes our notion of well-being and offers a critical analysis of our capacity to care. This book is designed to promote sensitivity to the human complexities of care among health professionals by providing a "helpful coherent value base for guiding practice". It does this in light of the more personalised dimensions of care that appear to be becoming less obvious in favour of economic imperatives. With this in mind, the book is acutely timely. It presents a world view that those of us who are phenomenological converts have known for a long time as one that is particularly relevant to caring practices. There is no doubt this book has readability and resonance. Based on some highly theoretical concepts Galvin and Todres make compelling arguments for an approach to care that is easily accessible and applicable.’ – Professor Sally Borbasi, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Australia.

    'In Caring and Well-being Kathleen Galvin and Les Todres present a creative, complex, and coherent investigation of philosophical and practice-based perspectives on caring for others in humane, holistic, and hopeful ways. With an emphasis on innovation, contemplation, and imagination, Galvin and Todres elucidate how experience, embodiment, empathy, emotions, and ethics are all inextricably connected to promoting caring and well-being in ways that honour the lived and living experiences of human beings who cannot be reduced to charts and statistics. In the spirit of contemporary hermeneutic inquiry, this book is nuanced and evocative, insightful and inspiring, philosophical and poetic. By carefully investigating the intersections between ethics and aesthetics, policy and practice, knowledge and discourse, empathy and action, Galvin and Todres have composed a remarkable book that exemplifies their commitment to nurturing integrated lifeworld approaches to well-being in the caring professions and disciplines.’ – Carl Leggo, poet and professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.