3518 : THE MEANING OF HOLISM IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN SWEDEN

Author(s): 
Strandberg, Evalena; Wilhelmsson, Susan
Text: 
Oral Presentation
Research Based
OBJECTIVE: To analyse the meaning of the concept holism in primary health care in Sweden. METHODS: Semi-structured focus group interviews with family physicians and district nurses; four interviews with in total 22 physicians and three interviews with in total 20 nurses. The analysis was guided by qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: Three categories and eight dimensions: Attitudes: professional attitude and political/administrative attitude; Knowledge: tactual knowledge and tacit knowledge; Conditions: motivating factor, organisation, sphere of activities and tools.
SUMMARY: A professional approach includes seeing the whole person and making the right decision for the individual even if it diverges from guidelines. From a political and administrative viewpoint, holism is a prestige word without content. Both factual and tacit knowledge are needed to be able to take up holism. Factual knowledge is acquired through special training and long professional experience. Tacit knowledge is also about feelings and social competence. Holism forms the essence of general practice and as such it constitutes a factor of motivation. The way primary health care is organised influences the possibility of using a holistic approach. Geographic district and primary care teams facilitate holism. Home calls were essential in order to achieve holism, especially for the district nurses. Within certain spheres of activity holism was said to be specifically important, such as in preventive work and palliative care. The private interview and communication were expressed important tools for achieving holism. CONCLUSIONS: Holism is a multidimensional and elusive concept, very much alive within the professions and permeating all the way through primary care. "Without holism, no primary care".
Topic: Professional Development