The Last Day Narratives: An Exploration of the End of Life for Patients with Cancer from a Caregivers' Perspective.

07:00 EST 6th March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The Last Day Narratives: An Exploration of the End of Life for Patients with Cancer from a Caregivers' Perspective."

Surviving family caregivers describe the end-of-life experience as "very distressing" and half of those surveyed indicate inadequate emotional support; however, little is known about the causes of distress on the last day of life. The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of the last day of life from the perspective of the surviving caregiver. The study used a narrative inquiry approach. Surviving caregivers of deceased adult cancer patients at a single institution were invited to participate. After reviewing, coding, and categorizing the narratives individually, they were collectively considered and thematically analyzed across all cases to provide a summative analysis. Six themes captured the overall experiences: (1) relationships and communication with health care providers impact overall experience, (2) being able to prepare for death was a source of comfort, (3) being a caregiver impacts quality of life and identity, (4) spiritual visitations as a welcome experience, (5) navigating the dying days and early grief period wrought with guilt and closure, and (6) loss of community contributes to distress and distracts from healing. In this study, distress was most often linked to communication failures. Caregivers also experienced distress and guilt related to the loss of their caregiver role. Findings also support a need for increased preparation for caregivers. Finally, the study showed the frequency of visitations/spiritual experiences during grieving.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of palliative medicine
ISSN: 1557-7740


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