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Balancing on the Edge: Understandings of Hope Amongst Women Experiencing Homelessness

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dc.contributor.author Markel, Kim
dc.date.accessioned 2013-08-19T17:48:05Z
dc.date.available 2013-08-19T17:48:05Z
dc.date.copyright 2013 en_US
dc.date.issued 2013-08-19
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/4761
dc.description.abstract Women who experience homelessness are faced with a myriad of challenges and struggles. Compared to women with housing, they endure higher than average rates of physical illness, mental health challenges, and substance use issues. They are often victims of physical and sexual violence and are subjected to daily experiences of deprivation, isolation, powerlessness, and marginalization. Given the immensity of these struggles, it is essential to better understand those aspects of their experiences and beliefs that promote endurance and resilience. Hope is readily acknowledged, across disciplines and across diverse populations, to be an experience that offers strength to individuals when faced with difficulty. It is understood to be a key component of well‐being and quality of life and has been shown to provide protection from despair, grief, and harmful behaviours. In this research, women who have recently experienced homelessness were asked to speak to their unique understanding of hope. The study participants were also asked to discuss what prevents and supports hope in their lives and finally, were requested to speak of how registered nurses foster or prevent hope. The approach used to guide this research was interpretive description. The use of this approach ensures that the generated knowledge not only addresses the study research questions but also that the data analysis is contextually placed within the clinical setting. This study involved interviews with nine women who had experienced homelessness within the preceding twelve months. Four major themes and multiple subthemes emerged through the process of analysis. Three major themes describe the complexity of living with hope for these women: ‘balancing on the edge’, ‘pushed to the edge’ and ‘pulled from the edge’. ‘Nursing on the edge’ captures the multiple understandings of how registered nurses impact the experiences of hope and hopelessness. Findings from this research explicate the unique struggles, strengths, capacities, values, and beliefs of women who are homeless. Furthermore, the findings shed light on the delicate balance of hope and how easily, often without thought and attention, registered nurses can upset this balance. These findings have implications for nursing practice and nursing education and provide considerations for policy development and future research. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject hope en_US
dc.subject homeless women en_US
dc.subject homelessness en_US
dc.subject nursing en_US
dc.title Balancing on the Edge: Understandings of Hope Amongst Women Experiencing Homelessness en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Pauly, Bernadette M.
dc.degree.department School of Nursing en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Nursing M.N. en_US
dc.rights.temp Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.proquestcode 0453 en_US
dc.description.proquestcode 0569 en_US


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