A unitary field pattern portrait of dispiritedness in later life

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


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NLM Title Abbreviation


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science

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The purpose of this investigation was to enhance theory and understanding of the phenomenon of dispiritedness in later life within the context of Rogers' Science of Unitary Human Beings using a research method congruent with the ontological and epistemological tenets of Rogers' nursing science. Eleven persons 52 to 92 years of age who identified themselves as being in later life and having experienced dispiritedness participated in a 40 to 70 minute in-depth interview which focused on their experiences, perceptions, and expressions of dispiritedness. A field pattern profile was created for each participant. The unitary field pattern portrait of dispiritedness in later life was created through a process of mutual construction using the hermeneutic-dialectic circle and two phases of pattern synthesis. Ten unitary themes of resonating human-environmental field patterning emerged from the 11 field pattern profiles and were synthesized to form the unitary field pattern portrait. The portrait was interpreted within Rogers' nursing science to create the theorectical unitary field pattern portrait: Dispiritedness in later life is experiencing the oscillating rhythm of dissipating energy expressed as a perception of emptiness and patterns of dwindling vitality: experiencing dissonant rhythmicity amidst adversity and uncertainty expressed as feeling out of synchrony with the universe; integrality experienced as fractured expressed as disengaging from life's flow; openness and pandimensionality perceived as collapsing expressed as increasing restrictivenes, ambiguity,and apprehension; continuing to participate knowingly in change while wanting to relinguish the will to live; and in a continuous rhythm with inspiritedness accelerating movement toward patterns of greater diversity manifested by visioning infinite potentials and creating innovative ways of actively participating in the later life process.


Aging -- Psychosocial Factors, Attitude to Life -- In Old Age, Life Experiences -- In Old Age, Phenomenology, Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings, Middle Age, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Hopelessness, Depression -- In Old Age, Sampling Methods, Phenomenological Research, Interviews, Data Collection Site, Field Notes, Data Analysis Software, Social Isolation, Loneliness, Research Methodology, Energy Field, Environment, Powerlessness, Chaos Theory, Nursing Science, Human

Published Article/Book Citation

Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 4:1 (1996) pp.41-58.

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