Humanistic Nursing Theory: Application to hospice and palliative care

Nursing Department, Meiho University Neipu, Pingtung, Taiwan.
Journal of Advanced Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.74). 07/2011; 68(2):471-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05770.x
Source: PubMed


This article presents a discussion of the relevance of Humanistic Nursing Theory to hospice and palliative care nursing.
The World Health Organization has characterized the need for expert, palliative and end-of-life care as a top priority for global health care. The specialty of hospice and palliative care nursing embraces a humanistic caring and holistic approach to patient care. As this resonates with Paterson and Zderad's Humanistic Nursing Theory, an understanding of hospice nurses' experiences can be investigated by application of relevant constructs in the theory.
This article is based on Paterson and Zderad's publications and other theoretical and research articles and books focused on Humanistic Nursing Theory (1976-2009), and data from a phenomenological study of the lived experience of Taiwanese hospice nurses conducted in 2007.
Theoretical concepts relevant to hospice and palliative nursing included moreness-choice, call-and-response, intersubjective transaction, uniqueness-otherness, being and doing and community.
The philosophical perspectives of Humanistic Nursing Theory are relevant to the practice of hospice and palliative care nursing. By 'being with and doing with', hospice and palliative nurses can work with patients to achieve their final goals in the last phase of life.
Use of core concepts from Humanistic Nursing Theory can provide a unifying language for planning care and describing interventions. Future research efforts in hospice and palliative nursing should define and evaluate these concepts for efficacy in practice settings.

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