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The good and bad death perceptions of health professionals working in palliative care.

Low, Joseph T. S. and Payne, Sheila (1996) The good and bad death perceptions of health professionals working in palliative care. European Journal of Cancer Care, 5 (4). pp. 237-241. ISSN 0961-5423

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Abstract

The development of palliative care originated from shortcomings in mainstream health services. Palliative care aims to cater for both the psycho-social needs of dying patients and the allieviation of their physical symptoms. This is reflected by the good and bad death perceptions of palliative care workers, though increasing signs of institutionalization in palliative care have challenged the idealization of a good death. This study aimed to investigate the health professionals'perception of both a good and a bad death and their perception of patients'awareness context. Seventy questionnaires were distributed to nurses and social workers. The 50 returned questionnaires revealed that health professionals perceived a good death as controlling the patients'physical symptoms and psychologically preparing them, whilst a bad death was perceived as the inability to control pain and deal with any psychological distress. Factor analysis identified three main factors (lack of patient distress, patient control and staff's supporting role perceptions) in the perception of a good death whereas four main factors (the negative effect of death on the family, a patient's non-acceptance of death, not dealing with patients'fears and the age of a dying person) were identified with the perception of a bad death. Overall, health professionals perceived themselves to be open and sensitive in communicating with patients although over half felt poorly supported by other staff.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Cancer Care
Uncontrolled Keywords: health professionals • perceptions • good death • bad death • palliative care
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 32424
Deposited By: Mr Richard Ingham
Deposited On: 25 Mar 2010 11:35
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 17:10
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/32424

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