'Life is still worth living': a pilot exploration of self-reported resources of palliative care patients
SourceBMC Family Practice, 17, (2016), article 52
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
BMC Family Practice
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Facing a terminal illness can be highly stressful and palliative care patients frequently suffer from mood symptoms. The focus of health care is often on treating symptoms whereas health-promoting factors receive less attention. The aim of this study was to explore the views of palliative care patients on resources and ways of coping that help them prevent or manage mood symptoms. METHODS: A pilot qualitative study was performed through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with fifteen ambulant patients with advanced cancer. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and qualitative analysis was performed independently by two researchers, according to the principle of constant comparative analysis. RESULTS: Patients reported on attitudes and specific coping strategies that they found helpful, as well as aspects of their life narrative and spirituality. Resources were found in meaningful contacts with family and friends and in personal attention of professional medical caregivers for their wellbeing. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that palliative care patients could identify resources to cope with mood symptoms in the context of their unique life. In helping patients to identify the personal resources that are accessible and available in their specific context, patient autonomy in enhancing resilience could be increased.
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