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Living in the presence of death: an integrative literature review of relatives' important existential concerns when caring for a severely ill family member.
Mittuniversitetet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9623-5813
2012 (English)In: Open Nursing Journal, ISSN 1874-4346, E-ISSN 1874-4346, Vol. 6, p. 1-12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM: The aim of this study was to explore relatives' existential concerns when caring for a seriously ill family member as well as to describe interventions that meet these concerns.

METHODS: In this integrative literature review we assessed and classified 17 papers, 12 qualitative and 5 quantitative. Literature was sought in the databases Cinahl, PubMed, Psykinfo and Web of Science in September 2009 and in March 2010. Search terms used in different combinations were: family, family caregiver, next of kin, relatives, palliative, palliative care, end-of-life care, existential, spirit*. Data were redrawn from the papers results/findings, and synthesized into a new descriptive content.

RESULTS: The results were categorized from 13 papers exploring relatives' important existential concerns and 4 papers describing interventions aimed to support them in the existential area. A majority of the reviewed papers had been written in Sweden and concerned relatives of patients with cancer. One overarching theme, living in the presence of death, and three categories: responses to life close to death; support when death is near; and beyond the presence of death were created.

CONCLUSION: There is an urgent demand for large-scale studies using accurate methodology, as well as a need to design qualified investigations regarding the effects of various interventions, and to determine which interventions are the most effective in supporting relatives who experience existential distress manifested physically and/or psychologically. There is also a considerable demand for educational interventions among professionals in various healthcare settings to increase their knowledge regarding existential concerns among relatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 6, p. 1-12
Keywords [en]
Cancer, end-of-life care, family, incurable illness, nursing, review.
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-7411DOI: 10.2174/1874434601206010001PubMedID: 22371820OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-7411DiVA, id: diva2:1305392
Available from: 2019-04-16 Created: 2019-04-16 Last updated: 2019-04-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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More styles
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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