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Communication about existential issues with patients close to death—nurses' reflections on content, process and meaning
Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden / Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden.
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society, Division of Nursing, Karolinska Institute, Solna, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0976-531X
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2014 (English)In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611, Vol. 23, no 5, 562-568 p.Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Encountering dying patients with implicit existential questions requires the nurses to have positive and comfortable attitude to talking about existential issues. This paper describes the nurses' reflections on existential issues in their communication with patients close to death. Methods: Nurses (n=98) were recruited from a hospital, hospices and homecare teams. Each nurse participated in five group reflection sessions that were recorded, transcribed and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Three domains and nine themes emerged. The content domain of the existential conversation covered living, dying and relationships. The process domain dealt with using conversation techniques to open up conversations, being present and confirming. The third domain was about the meaning of existential conversation for nurses. The group reflections revealed a distinct awareness of the value of sensitivity and supportive conversations. Conclusion: This study supports the assertion that experience of talking about existential issues and supporting environment make nurses comfortable when counselling patients close to death. It was obvious from this study that having the courage to be present and confirming, having time and not trying to 'solve' every existential problem were the most important factors in conversations with the patients close to death. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Vol. 23, no 5, 562-568 p.
Keyword [en]
Communication, Counselling, End-of-life care, Existential, Hospice, Nurse
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-8712DOI: 10.1002/pon.3456ISI: 000333767200010PubMedID: 24323829Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84897980529OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-8712DiVA: diva2:683145
Note

Correspondence Address: Strang, S.; Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 457, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Swedemail: susann.strang@gu.se

Available from: 2014-01-02 Created: 2014-01-02 Last updated: 2016-02-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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