The lived experience of diverse elders with chronic wounds

Earl Goldberg, Janice M. Beitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


A previous study described the phenomenon of 16 financially stable Caucasian elders living with a chronic wound. The purpose of this study was to extend this research and describe the phenomenon of living with a chronic nonhealing wound in elders of color and in financially fragile circumstances. A purposive sample of 11 elders (nine older than and two disabled persons younger than 65 years of age) was selected who met the following inclusion criteria: having a chronic nonhealing wound present longer than 8 weeks; absence of mental health issues or cognitive deficits; able to communicate in English; and being from a diverse racial/ethnic background (not Caucasian). Seven male and four female elders were interviewed. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed. Using phenomenological analysis, the researchers derived 10 themes and 24 associated subthemes incorporating physiological, psychological, and social concerns. Diverse elders had some experiences in common with Caucasian elders-notably, tolerating pain, missing normal mobility, living with chronic illness, and explaining causes of wounds. They also had different experiences including encountering losses, considering costs (both emotional and financial), and changed social roles. Unlike wealthier white elders, the diverse elders did not describe distrust of caregivers or altered sleeping or eating patterns. The results of this study provide a window on the lived experience of having a chronic wound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalOstomy Wound Management
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology
  • Nursing(all)
  • Internal Medicine


  • Qualitative study
  • chronic wounds
  • elderly
  • lived experience
  • race

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