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Living in the presence of death: An integrative literature review of relatives’ important existential concerns when caring for a severely ill family member
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9623-5813
2012 (English)In: Open Nursing Journal, ISSN 1874-4346, E-ISSN 1874-4346, Vol. 6, 1-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM:

The aim of this study was to explore relatives' existential concerns when caring for a seriously ill family member as well as to describe interventions that meet these concerns.

METHODS:

In this integrative literature review we assessed and classified 17 papers, 12 qualitative and 5 quantitative. Literature was sought in the databases Cinahl, PubMed, Psykinfo and Web of Science in September 2009 and in March 2010. Search terms used in different combinations were: family, family caregiver, next of kin, relatives, palliative, palliative care, end-of-life care, existential, spirit*. Data were redrawn from the papers results/findings, and synthesized into a new descriptive content.

RESULTS:

The results were categorized from 13 papers exploring relatives' important existential concerns and 4 papers describing interventions aimed to support them in the existential area. A majority of the reviewed papers had been written in Sweden and concerned relatives of patients with cancer. One overarching theme, living in the presence of death, and three categories: responses to life close to death; support when death is near; and beyond the presence of death were created.

CONCLUSION:

There is an urgent demand for large-scale studies using accurate methodology, as well as a need to design qualified investigations regarding the effects of various interventions, and to determine which interventions are the most effective in supporting relatives who experience existential distress manifested physically and/or psychologically. There is also a considerable demand for educational interventions among professionals in various healthcare settings to increase their knowledge regarding existential concerns among relatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 6, 1-12 p.
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-22919DOI: 10.2174/1874434601206010001PubMedID: 22371820OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-22919DiVA: diva2:746044
Available from: 2014-09-11 Created: 2014-09-11 Last updated: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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