The Lived Experience of Aging Black Women with Diabetes Nurse-Person Relationships

Deidra G. Brown, City University of New York, Graduate Center


The lived experience of the nurse-person relationship may have meaning for Black women with diabetes as they grow older. However, insufficient nursing research has been conducted in this area. This hermeneutic phenomenological study was designed to provide insight into the experiences of older Black women with diabetes as they transition through the aging process and to elucidate their perceptions of the nurse-person relationship. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the lived experience and perceptions of these women, and data was collected for developing a deeper understanding of this phenomenon. The method used to conduct this research was Max van Manen's hermeneutic phenomenology. Nine Black women diagnosed with diabetes between 4 and 38 years were interviewed. The meaning of the lived experiences of aging with diabetes and being cared for by nurses in their homes uncovered four essential themes that culminated into a thematic statement that elucidated the participant's stories: Being in the moment with another in authentic presence; while dwelling and creating opportunities to achieve wellness by transcending suffering and illness through love and compassion in a human-to-human connection. Halldorsdottir (2012) Nursing as Compassionate Competence Theory was reflected upon to illuminate the persons' perception of lived experience of nursing care in view of the dynamics of the nurse-person relationship.