How is Dignity Understood and Preserved in Patients with Palliative Needs in the Middle East? : An Integrative Review

Sailian, SD and Salifu, Y and Saad, R and Preston, N (2021) How is Dignity Understood and Preserved in Patients with Palliative Needs in the Middle East? : An Integrative Review. BMC Palliative Care. ISSN 1472-684X

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Background: Patients with palliative needs experience high psychological and symptom distress that may lead to hopelessness and impaired sense of dignity. Maintaining patient dignity or the quality of being valued is a core aim in palliative care. The notion of dignity is often explained by functionality, symptom relief and autonomy in decision making. However, this understanding and its implications in Middle Eastern countries is not clear. The aim of this review is to 1) explore the understanding of dignity and how dignity is preserved in adult patients with palliative care needs in the Middle East 2) critically assess the findings against the Dignity Model dominant in western literature. Method: Using an integrative review we searched four databases EMBASE, Psych-Info, CINAHL, and PubMed. These databases retrieve a broad literature on palliative care and are often chosen in other palliative care reviews. To enhance the search strategy, three online journals were hand searched, reference lists of review papers scanned, and forward citations sought. No time limits were applied. The retrieved papers were assessed independently by two authors including quality assessment using the Hawker’s appraisal tool. Results: Out of the 5113 studies retrieved, 294 full texts were assessed. Sixteen studies were included for synthesis of which fourteen were published in Iran. Seven themes were developed after data analysis: Maintaining Privacy and Secrecy; Gentle communication with a dialogue that preserves hope instead of blunt truth-telling; Abundance characterised by accessibility to medical supplies and financial stability; Family Support where relatives deliver major assistance in care; Physical Fitness; Reliable health care, and Social justice that endorses equal care to all. Conclusion: The results are compatible with the existing evidence from the Dignity Model ascertaining that dignity is socially mediated and influenced by interactions and physical fitness. Nevertheless, the findings highlight that patient dignity is also shaped by the socio-political, cultural, and economic conditions of the country, where family support, gentle communication and accessible health care are essential elements.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
BMC Palliative Care
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Deposited On:
24 Jun 2021 12:55
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:37