Conversations about Death and Dying with Older People : An Ethnographic Study in Nursing Homes

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Conversations about Death and Dying with Older People : An Ethnographic Study in Nursing Homes

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Conversations about Death and Dying with Older People : An Ethnographic Study in Nursing Homes
Author Alftberg, Åsa ; Ahlström, Gerd ; Nilsen, Per ; Behm, Lina ; Sandgren, Anna ; Benzein, Eva ; Wallerstedt, Birgitta ; Rasmussen, Birgit H
Date 2018
English abstract
Nursing homes are often places where older persons “come to die.” Despite this, death and dying are seldom articulated or talked about. The aim of this study was to explore assistant nurses’ experiences of conversations about death and dying with nursing home residents. This study is part of an implementation project through a knowledge-based educational intervention based on palliative care principles. An ethnographic study design was applied in seven nursing homes, where eight assistant nurses were interviewed and followed in their daily assignments through participant observations. The assistant nurses stated that they had the knowledge and tools to conduct such conversations, even though they lacked the time and felt that emotional strain could be a hinder for conversations about death and dying. The assistant nurses used the strategies of distracting, comforting, and disregarding either when they perceived that residents’ reflections on death and dying were part of their illness and disease or when there was a lack of alignment between the residents’ contemplations and the concept of dying well. They indicated that ambivalence and ambiguity toward conversations about death and dying should be taken into consideration in future implementations of knowledge-based palliative care that take place in nursing homes after this project is finalized.
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6020063 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Link https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6020063 .Icon
Publisher MDPI
Host/Issue Healthcare;2
Volume 6
ISSN 2227-9032
Language eng (iso)
Subject aged
auxiliary nurse
end-of-life
ethnographic approach
existential communication
frailty
life-limiting disease
older
palliative care
residential care
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/25502 Permalink to this page
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA.
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