[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Having a sense of security is vitally important to patients who have a limited life expectancy.
We sought to identify the factors associated with patients' sense of security during the palliative care period.
We recruited 174 adult patients (65% of those eligible) from six palliative home care units. The relationship between the patients' sense of security during palliative care and individual factors was evaluated in a stepwise procedure using the generalized linear model (ordinal multinomial distribution and logit link).
Respondents' ratings of their sense of security ranged from 1 (never) to 6 (always), with a mean value of 4.6 (SD 1.19). Patients with lower feelings of security experienced higher stress; more worry about personal finances; lower feelings of self-efficacy; a lower sense of security with the palliative care provided (lower ratings on subscales of care interaction); mastery; prevailed own identity; higher symptom intensity (especially depression, anxiety, and lack of well-being); lower health-related quality of life; lower attachment anxiety and avoidance; less support from family, relatives, and friends; lower comfort for those closest to them; and more often had gynecological cancer. Six variables (mastery, nervousness and stress, gynecological cancer, self-efficacy, worrying about personal finances, and avoidance) were selected in building the stepwise model.
These findings stress the importance of palliative care services in supporting dying patients' sense of security through symptom management with a wide scope and through supporting the patients' sense of mastery, identity, and perception of a secure care interaction and also through attention to the family members' situation.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of pain and symptom management
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attachment theory has received much interest lately in relation to how adults cope with stress and severe illness. The aim of this study was using the experiences of patients and family members to explore palliative home care as a ‘secure base’ (a central concept within the theory).
Twelve patients and 14 family members were interviewed during ongoing palliative home care. The interviews were analysed with deductive qualitative content analysis.
Informants expressed the relevance of sensing security during palliative home care because death and dying were threats that contributed to vulnerability. Palliative home care could foster a feeling of security and provide a secure base. This was facilitated when informants had trust in staff (e.g. due to availability and competence in providing symptom relief), felt recognised as individuals and welcomed to contact the team in times of needs. Being comfortable, informed and having an everyday life also contributed to a perception of palliative home care as a secure base. Family members stressed the importance of being relieved from responsibilities that were too heavy. The underlying meanings of experiencing palliative home care as a secure base involved gaining a sense of control and of inner peace, perceiving that despite a demanding and changed life situation, one could continue partially being oneself and having something to hope for, even if this no longer concerned cure for the ill person.
Important aspects of palliative home care as providing a secure base were identified and these have implications for clinical practice. Copyright
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staff members in palliative home care play an important role in supporting bereaved family members. The aim of this study was to explore staff members' perspectives on providing such support.
Staff members in six units responded (n=120; response rate 58%) to a postal questionnaire with Likert-type and open-ended questions. The responses were analyzed using statistics and manifest content analysis.
None of the respondents stated that bereavement follow-up was "most often difficult," 23% "most often rather difficult," 52.5% "most often rather easy," and 12.5% "most often easy." Apart from a tendency for age to be linked to perceived difficulty, there were no apparent patterns. Bereavement follow-up was a positive opportunity to support the family member's coping with their bereavement and to get feedback on the palliative care provided. Critical aspects concerned the question of whose needs actually were being met at bereavement follow-up, i.e., the staff members' needs for getting feedback on the care provided versus the risk of burdening the family members' by reminding them of the deceased's dying trajectory. Aspects that negatively influenced the staff members' experiences were complex and related, e.g., to the family member's dissatisfaction with the care provided, to the staff member's perceived lack of competence, and to the staff member's relationship to the family member.
Bereavement follow-up was perceived as a rewarding conclusion to the relationship with the family member. The findings suggest that meaning-based coping might be an appropriate framework when understanding staff members' experiences with providing bereavement follow-up.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Supportive Care in Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Palliative care does not end with the death of the patient, and many palliative care services offer specific follow-up services for the bereaved. The aims of this study were to quantitate perceived bereavement needs and to qualitatively describe these needs. The study design was cross-sectional and targeted family members three to nine months after the patient's death. Two hundred and forty-eight family members responded (response rate 66%) to a postal questionnaire with Likert-type and open-ended questions. The responses to the open-ended items were analyzed with manifest content analysis, and the quantitative part was analyzed with descriptive statistics. The analysis showed that about half of the family members expressed a need for bereavement follow-up. A majority favored a personal meeting, preferably in their own home, with the staff member who had had the most contact with the patient and the family. The family members wanted to talk about what had happened during the palliative phase (e.g., if the patient had suffered or not), and also about their present situation, their feelings of loneliness, and the future. The follow-up procedure made the family member experience a feeling of being recognized as a person with their own needs and was also valuable with regard to the family members' feelings of guilt. The findings are discussed in relation to narrative theory, meaning-based coping, and the dual process model of coping with bereavement, and designing follow-up procedures.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Pain and Symptom Management