alexa Seeing the whole person: feasibility of using the Omaha System to describe strengths of older adults with chronic illness.


Internal Medicine: Open Access

Author(s): Monsen KA, Holland DE, FungHouger PW, Vanderboom CE, Monsen KA, Holland DE, FungHouger PW, Vanderboom CE

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Abstract A promising strategy for enhancing care and self-management of chronic illness is an integrative, whole-person approach that recognizes and values well-being. Assessment tools are needed that will enable health care professionals to perceive patients as whole persons, with strengths as well as problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of using a standardized terminology (the Omaha System) to describe strengths of older adults with chronic illness. The Omaha System assessment currently consists of identifying signs/symptoms for 42 health concepts. Researchers mapped self-reported strengths phrases to Omaha System concepts using existing narratives of 32 older adults with 12-15 comorbid conditions. Results demonstrated the feasibility of describing strengths of patients with chronic illness. Exploratory analysis showed that there were 0-9 strengths per patient, with unique strengths profiles for 30 of 32 patients. Given that older adults with multiple chronic illnesses also have strengths that can be classified and quantified using the Omaha System, there is potential to use the Omaha System as a whole-person assessment tool that enables perception of both problems and strengths. Further research is needed to enhance the Omaha System to formally represent strengths-based as well as a problem-focused perspectives.
This article was published in Res Theory Nurs Pract and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access

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