The unsayable: a concept analysis
Version of Record online: 5 JUL 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 69, Issue 2, pages 481–492, February 2013
How to Cite
SCHICK MAKAROFF K . L . (2013) The unsayable: a concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing 69(2), 481–492. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06083.x
- Issue online: 13 JAN 2013
- Version of Record online: 5 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 JUN 2012
- Kidney Foundation of Canada Allied Health Doctoral Fellowship. Grant Number: KFOC100031
- KRESCENT. Grant Number: KRES110011R1
- document analysis;
- literature review;
- nurse–patient interactions;
To report an analysis of the concept of the unsayable.
Within nursing, there is recognition that not all experiences of illness can be fully voiced and therefore may be unsayable. However, focus has been on that which is sayable, those experiences that can be communicated through language, leaving the unsayable unexamined. There is little examination of the meaning or relevance of the concept for nursing practice.
The literature search was not limited by date and includes English, peer-reviewed texts in the databases CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsychINFO from 1959–2011.
Rodgers' method of evolutionary concept analysis was used.
References were read and analyzed according to surrogate terms, related concepts, attributes, antecedents, and consequences.
Three surrogate terms, one related concept, four attributes, four antecedents, and two consequences were identified in this concept analysis. Based on this analysis, the unsayable refers to what is not expressed yet alluded to through language and may be conscious or unconscious. The meaning of this concept differs substantially between psychology and nursing.
Although literature on the unsayable has been developed primarily outside the discipline of nursing, exploration of the concept within nursing may assist nurses to consider situations and experiences that are challenging, elusive, and perhaps impossible for patients to language while living amid illness.