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Family stories of end-of-life cancer care when unable to fulfil a loved one’s wish to die at home

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative and Supportive Care
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)473-483
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/03/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Objective: Control over place of death is deemed important, not only in providing a “good death,” but also in offering person-centered palliative care. Despite the wish to die at home being endorsed by many, few achieve it. The present study aimed to explore the reasons why this wish is not fulfilled by examining the stories of ten individuals who lost a loved one to cancer.
Method: We adopted a narrative approach, with stories synthesized to create one metastory depicting plot similarities and differences.
Results: Stories were divided into four chapters: (1) the cancer diagnosis, (2) the terminal stage and advancement of death, (3) death itself, and (4) reflections on the whole experience. Additionally, several reasons for cessation of home care were uncovered, including the need to consider children's welfare, exhaustion, and admission of the loved one by professionals due to a medical emergency. Some participants described adverse effects as a result of being unable to continue to support their loved one's wish to remain at home.
Significance of Results: Reflections upon the accounts are provided with a discussion around potential clinical implications.