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BMC Fam Pract. 2016 May 10;17:52. doi: 10.1186/s12875-016-0450-y.

'Life is still worth living': a pilot exploration of self-reported resources of palliative care patients.

Author information

1
Academic Centre for General Practice KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33, Blok j, bus 7001, B3000, Leuven, Belgium. Franca.Warmenhoven@kuleuven.be.
2
Department of Primary and Community Care, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Huispost 117, Postbus 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3
Academic Centre for General Practice KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33, Blok j, bus 7001, B3000, Leuven, Belgium.
4
Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Huispost 717, Postbus 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Medical Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Huispost 840, Postbus 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Facing a terminal illness can be highly stressful and palliative care patients frequently suffer from mood symptoms. The focus of health care is often on treating symptoms whereas health-promoting factors receive less attention. The aim of this study was to explore the views of palliative care patients on resources and ways of coping that help them prevent or manage mood symptoms.

METHODS:

A pilot qualitative study was performed through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with fifteen ambulant patients with advanced cancer. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and qualitative analysis was performed independently by two researchers, according to the principle of constant comparative analysis.

RESULTS:

Patients reported on attitudes and specific coping strategies that they found helpful, as well as aspects of their life narrative and spirituality. Resources were found in meaningful contacts with family and friends and in personal attention of professional medical caregivers for their wellbeing.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that palliative care patients could identify resources to cope with mood symptoms in the context of their unique life. In helping patients to identify the personal resources that are accessible and available in their specific context, patient autonomy in enhancing resilience could be increased.

KEYWORDS:

Depression; Mood symptoms; Palliative care; Psychological adaptation; Psychological resilience

PMID:
27164989
PMCID:
PMC4862164
DOI:
10.1186/s12875-016-0450-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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