Original Research

Self-managing individual wellness for the health professional: A somatology perspective

Karien Henrico, Jeanette E. Maritz, Johan Bezuidenhout
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 24 | a1119 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v24i0.1119 | © 2019 Karien Henrico, Jeanette E. Maritz, Johan Bezuidenhout | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 February 2018 | Published: 29 May 2019

About the author(s)

Karien Henrico, Department of Somatology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Jeanette E. Maritz, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Johan Bezuidenhout, Division Health Sciences Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Health professionals play a vital role in the stability and sustainability of any healthcare system. However, the well-documented long working hours, lack of wellness support structures, regular occurrence of burnout and low retention rates are concerning.

Aim: The aim of this research study was to understand how a group of therapists self-manage their own individual wellness, to provide insight on how other health professionals, working in a demanding environment, could potentially address their individual wellness more effectively.

Setting: The research was conducted in a private room at the place of participant employment, in two metropolitans in Gauteng, South Africa.

Method: Qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual designs were used within the paradigm of constructivism. Purposive sampling was used to select participants. Data were collected through in-depth interviews, field notes and reflective practices, and analysed through open coding.

Results: This study revealed disequilibrium between the theoretical knowledge and practical realities of therapists, and indicated that these therapists experience various personal obstacles that hinder the self-management of their individual wellness.

Conclusions: Somatology therapists use various personal strategies that allow them to better self-manage their individual wellness. Individual wellness seems to be a personal phenomenon, indicating the need to self-reflect on personal perceptions of wellness, individual wellness obstacles and individual wellness strategies to effectively self-manage individual wellness.


Keywords

individual wellness; health professional; self-management; somatology; personal wellness; healthcare provider; demanding work environment; wellness

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