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Palliative care professionals' experiences of unusual spiritual phenomena at the end of life

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Mental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number5
Volume17
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)479-493
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Research literature has highlighted unusual phenomena occurring at the end of life. Palliative-care professionals often feel ill-prepared in managing these and in talking to patients and family members about them. This study aimed to explore the meanings and interpretations ascribed to these phenomena by palliative-care professionals. Eight participants were interviewed, and interpretative phenomenological analysis used to identify themes within their accounts. Four themes emerged from the analysis: (1) Who are we to say what's out there?: a connection with something beyond what can be seen; (2) It opened up conversations: the experience of talking about unusual experiences; (3) It knocked me sideways: managing the emotional impact of these experiences; and (4) The fact that she was so accepting made it easier: the value of acceptance in relation to unusual experiences. These findings are discussed within the context of existing literature and implications for palliative-care professionals are discussed.