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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000 Jun;27(5):825-31.

Enduring suffering: a grounded theory analysis of the pain experience of elderly hospice patients with cancer.

Author information

  • Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX, USA. duggleby@lcc.net

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To identify, describe, and generate a theoretical analysis of the pain experience of elderly hospice patients with cancer.

DESIGN:

Qualitative, grounded theory.

SETTING:

Participants' homes in rural east Texas counties.

SAMPLE:

11 participants older than 65 years who were receiving services from a for-profit hospice.

METHODS:

Broad, unstructured, face-to-face audiotaped interviews transcribed verbatim and analyzed using constant-comparative method of analysis.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

Participants' descriptions of their pain experience.

FINDINGS:

Suffering is the basic social problem of pain. Participants deal with suffering through the basic social process of enduring. Enduring has two subprocesses: maintaining hope and adjusting. Trusting in a higher being and finding meaning are ways of maintaining hope. Dealing with uncertainty, accepting, and minimizing pain are ways of adjusting.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings provide the basis for assessment of and interventions to foster enduring. Faith, caring relationships, and strategies to decrease pain helped elderly hospice patients to endure.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE:

Nurses need to recognize and value the hard work of enduring to deal with suffering. Enduring may be fostered by assisting elderly hospice patients with cancer to maintain hope and adjust.

Comment in

  • Nurses should not foster enduring pain in elderly patients. [Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000]
PMID:
10868393
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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