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Caring Science

Caring Science

Major subject – Caring Science

A holistic view of human health is the key to good care. Students of Caring Science will learn about caring patients from the perspectives of individual patients and caring process. You will even gain insights into the impacts of the surrounding world on health and caring processes. The studies provide you with extensive knowledge of, for example, the basics of nursing and care (from clinical, ethical and cultural perspectives), clinical health and caring sciences, health education and the didactics of caring science.  You will also learn about different methods and ways of developing and improving healthcare. Your competence will be useful in many areas of healthcare, for example, in relation to the development of methods for promoting health and preventing diseases, the development of caring, and the alleviation of patients’ suffering. A charitable approach, dignity and responsibility are central aspects in your studies.

If you study Caring Science as your major subject, you will have a great freedom of choice and opportunities to tailor a professional career through your choice of minor subjects and courses. You can select a specialisation that is in accordance with your own strengths from the following minor subjects: clinical caring science (e.g., geriatric care, palliative care, children’s and families’ health), healthcare administration and management, the didactics of health sciences, health education, or health technology. You will also have an opportunity to select minor subjects from other disciplines outside health sciences to create a unique subject combination. Caring Science and the related minor subjects can also be studied by students with other major subjects.

The Caring Science research programme at Åbo Akademi University is based on a human-science and hermeneutic approach, with basic research serving as the necessary foundation for successful and innovative applied science. The underlying idea is that all research relies on an expressed value basis, or an ethos. Substance is the priority. The research is divided into systematic and clinical caring science. Within the systematic basic research we have formed the theoretical core through studies of ideological history and concept development. Basic clinical research introduces clinical representations of the theoretical core and its fundamental concepts. In other words, basic clinical research shows how the concepts of caring science take form in clinical practice. Through narratives and other textual sources, we gain an insight into the patients’ inner world in order to understand what their suffering is about.

Hermeneutic observations and interviews are developed as central tools in applied clinical research. Applied research is conducted in various caring situations and it results in clinical interventions or testing of new models in practice.

Research related to human health is focused on the concepts of health and health promotion, as well as human health in different ages and circumstances. Good nursing practice and high-quality patient care are based on the interaction between the art of caring, technology and science. While caring technologies aim at pragmatic benefits, the art of caring refers to the unique caring process which integrates scientific and technological competences. The ethical message of good care and ensuring of the patient’s dignity is actualised in new contexts. Ethics as the fundamental basis for different caring cultures and its relationship with human health has been in the focus in many research projects. Network-based research is implemented in the didactics of caring science. Research is carried out within national and Nordic networks, where currently topical issues include the question of how to make caring science visible in the didactics of the education of nursing instructors and how to provide didactic opportunities for patient education within healthcare. Research within healthcare administration deals with leadership, with an emphasis of leadership of nursing care.


Visiting address

Rantakatu 2


Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa
Caring Science
PL 311
FI-65101 Vaasa