The Experience of Lived Time in People with Dementia: A Systematic Meta-Synthesis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Introduction: For people with dementia, lived time is impor- tant to understand, as the condition affects memory, percep- tions of time, and life expectancy. The aim of this study was to locate, interpret, and synthesize the experience of lived time for people with dementia. Method: This article presents a qualitative systematic meta-synthesis. The theoretical framework of lifeworlds by van Manen provided the context for the study. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria for qualitative studies were used to appraise the studies. Six- ty-one qualitative research studies based on interviews with people with dementia were included in the review. The analysis followed the principles of interpretive synthesis. Results: Four categories were revealed: (1) rooted in the past – “I am the same as before”; (2) focussing on the pres- ent – “Nobody has tomorrow”; (3) thinking about the fu- ture – “What is going to happen to me?”; and (4) changes in the experience of self over time – “I used to....” The latent overall meaning was expressed as “being engaged with the dimensions of time.” Discussion/Conclusion: The experi- ence of lived time is an active and important one, enabling people to manage the dementia journey. Future work in- volving people with dementia should foreground the expe- rience of lived time.