Sense of Coherence at End of Life in Older People:An Interpretive Description

Gagne Henderson, Rebecca and Holland, Carol and Walshe, Catherine (2023) Sense of Coherence at End of Life in Older People:An Interpretive Description. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 25 (3). pp. 165-172. ISSN 1539-0705

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As people age, losses accumulate (ie, the death of family and friends, the loss of agility, and the loss of independence). Such losses have an impact on one's Sense of Coherence, that is, one's ability to see the world as comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful. Antonovsky deemed Sense of Coherence as a mostly stable state by the age of 30 years. Until now, there has not been an investigation into how serial loss of resources affects older people as they near the end of life. Sense of Coherence was used as the theoretical framework for this study to answer the question of how older people maintain or regain a Sense of Coherence in the presence of serious illness as they near death. Data were gathered using semistructured interviews and guided by interpretive description. This investigation found new concepts that contribute to Antonovsky's midlevel theory of salutogenesis and the construct of Sense of Coherence. Those are Incomprehensibility and Serial Loss of General Resistance Resources. The results indicate that the crux of a strong Sense of Coherence for this population is excellent communication and a coherent "big-picture" conversation.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
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21 Apr 2023 13:05
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 03:00