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J Allied Health. 2014 Winter;43(4):212-20.

Promoting health, wellness, and quality of life at the end of life: hospice interdisciplinary perspectives on creating a good death.

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Occupational Therapy Department, Long Island University, 1 University Plaza, Pratt Building, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA.


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to answer the broad questions: what do professional caregivers for the dying think about what they do, and how does that thinking influence their practice in end-of-life care? The participants were 12 hospice professionals working in four specific disciplines: occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, and nursing. In-depth interviews were conducted and audiotaped, and transcripts were printed. Constant comparison and thematic analysis was performed. One overarching theme and five subthemes were generated. The central theme, "promoting a good death," emerged from the data, as the participants continually discussed health, wellness, and quality-of-life work in which they engaged that were discipline-specific yet overlapping. The subthemes that emerged were: holism; framing and re-framing practice; client- and family-centered care; being with dying; and interdisciplinary team. All participants concluded that their work emanated from a health and wellness lens, and that quality of life at the end of life was their ultimate goal. Quality of life, for each discipline, included doing, being, and becoming one's authentic self until the end of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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