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The communication experiences of patients with palliative care needs: a meta-synthesis of qualitative findings

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative and Supportive Care
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)369-383
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date2/05/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Objective: Optimal communication is essential in ensuring that the palliative care needs of patients are met. This continues to be an area of concern for healthcare providers. The goal of our present review was to gain a deeper understanding of the communication experiences of patients with palliative care needs that have been identified within the qualitative literature.
Method: A systematic search for qualitative research papers was undertaken in February of 2012. Five databases (ASSIA, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychArticles, and PsychINFO) were searched using the search terms [“palliative care” OR “terminal care” OR “end of life care”] AND [“experience” OR “perspective” OR “qualitative” OR “interview”] AND [“patients” OR “clients” OR “service-user”]. Meta-synthesis was conducted on the data within the found papers.
Results: A line-of-argument synthesis of 15 studies yielded four overarching themes: talking—facilitating and inhibiting factors; the importance of humanitarian qualities within communication encounters; perceptions of autonomy within communication experiences; and individual differences in preferences for honesty within interactions.
Significance of results: Our findings are discussed in relation to existing literature and offer a deeper insight into the communication experiences of this clinical population. A number of clinical implications are offered for the healthcare professionals who are providing support to patients with palliative care needs.