On resilience and acceptance in the transition to palliative care at the end of life

MacArtney, John I., Broom, Alex, Kirby, Emma, Good, Phillip, Wootton, Julia, Yates, Patsy M., & Adams, Jon (2015) On resilience and acceptance in the transition to palliative care at the end of life. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 19(3), pp. 263-279.

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Abstract

Specialist palliative care is a prominent and expanding site of health service delivery, providing highly specialised care to people at the end of life. Its focus on the delivery of specialised life-enhancing care stands in contrast to biomedicine's general tendency towards life-prolonging intervention. This philosophical departure from curative or life-prolonging care means that transitioning patients can be problematic, with recent work suggesting a wide range of potential emotional, communication and relational difficulties for patients, families and health professionals. Yet, we know little about terminally ill patients' lived experiences of this complex transition. Here, through interviews with 40 inpatients in the last few weeks of life, we explore their embodied and relational experiences of the transition to inpatient care, including their accounts of an ethic of resilience in pre-palliative care and an ethic of acceptance as they move towards specialist palliative care. Exploring the relationship between resilience and acceptance reveals the opportunities, as well as the limitations, embedded in the normative constructs that inflect individual experience of this transition. This highlights a contradictory dynamic whereby participants' experiences were characterised by talk of initiating change, while also acquiescing to the terminal progression of their illness.

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ID Code: 77721
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: cancer and palliative care, death dying and bereavement, experiencing illness and narratives, narrative analysis, quality of life
DOI: 10.1177/1363459314545696
ISSN: 1461-7196
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 16 Oct 2014 00:41
Last Modified: 16 May 2015 17:01

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