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Care for Dying Patients at Midlife: Experiences of Nurses in Specialized Palliative Home Care

Care for Dying Patients at Midlife: Experiences of Nurses in Specialized Palliative Home Care

imageThe aim of the study was to highlight nurses’ experiences of caring for patients in palliative care at midlife, and describe their coping strategies. This study used a qualitative methodology with an inductive and an abductive approach. The analysis started with systematic text condensation. Later in the analysis, an abductive profile inspired by the concepts of a “tentative coping model for nurses in cancer care” was used. Fourteen participants, from 3 specialized palliative home care teams, were interviewed in 3 focus groups. Three themes and 9 codes represented the participants’ experiences and coping strategies: experiences of significances: participants felt admiration for the patients, they became invigorated by their encounters with their patients, and they got confirmation that they did well; stress: participants described how they were affected by external influences, psychological stress, and stress-related symptoms; and coping: participants described the various individual-, group-, and organizational-level coping strategies they used in their daily work and the formal and informal support they received. Based on their descriptions, palliative care nursing was stressful for the nurses. They had various coping strategies and significances that helped them care for the families in the most difficult situations. The study also revealed how important formal support was to the nurses.
Source: Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing

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