The experience of lived time in people with dementia : a systematic meta-synthesis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 2020, 49, 435-455 10.1159/000511225
Introduction: For people with dementia, lived time is important to understand, as the condition affects memory, perceptions 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. Sixty-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 present – “Nobody has tomorrow”; (3) thinking about the future – “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 experience of lived time is an active and important one, enabling people to manage the dementia journey. Future work involving people with dementia should foreground the experience of lived time.