BACKGROUND: Undergraduate nursing students encounter patients at the end of life during their clinical training. They need to confront dying and death under supportive circumstances in order to be prepared for similar situations in their future career.
AIM: To explore undergraduate nursing students' descriptions of caring situations with patients at the end of life during supervised clinical training.
METHODS: A qualitative study using the critical incident technique was chosen. A total of 85 students wrote a short text about their experiences of caring for patients at the end of life during their clinical training. These critical incident reports were then analysed using deductive and inductive content analysis.
FINDINGS: The theme 'students' transformational learning towards becoming a professional nurse during clinical training' summarises how students relate to patients and relatives, interpret the transition from life to death, feel when caring for a dead body and learn end-of-life caring actions from their supervisors.
IMPLICATIONS: As a preparation for their future profession, students undergoing clinical training need to confront death and dying while supported by trained supervisors and must learn how to communicate about end-of-life issues and cope with emotional stress and grief.
Backgroud: The 6S Dialogue Tool was elaborated to provide knowledge to nurses about patients' preferences in congruence with the 6S person-centered palliative care model, which includes the S-concepts of self-image, symptom relief, self-determination, social relationships, synthesis and strategies. The tool needs to be scrutinized for appropriateness.
Aims: To develop and psychometrically test the 6S Dialogue Tool.
Design: A qualitative study investigating construct validity of the 6S Dialogue Tool.
Methods: Forty-six patients in palliative care services in Sweden responded to 15 questions from May 2015 to August 2016. Responses were analyzed with qualitative content analysis.
Results: Six categories, capturing the meaning of the 6S-concepts, were formulated: Maintaining everyday life; Challenges in everyday life; Maintaining control; Maintaining selected relationships; Appraisal of life; and Appraisal of the future.
Conclusion: The responses to the 6S Dialogue Tool questions reflect the intent of the 6S-concepts. Nurses should integrate the 6S-concepts and the questions in their approach to facilitate to co-create meaningful palliative care in dialogue with the patient.
Impact: Patients' preferences must be explored to co-create palliative care in accordance with their own needs and beliefs. The 6S Dialogue Tool questions are suitable for obtaining patients' preferences and could be used as an approach in palliative care. Patients, families and nurses will have the potential to co-create palliative care and to improve possibilities for patients to have an appropriate death.
BACKGROUND: Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a life-limiting disease with a significant symptom burden, the patients are more often referred to nursing homes (NH), than to specialist palliative care (SPC) at the end of life (EOL). This study aimed to compare patients with COPD in SPC with those in NH and to compare the care provided.
METHODS: A national register study was carried out where the Swedish National Airway Register and the Swedish Register of Palliative Care were merged. COPD patients who died in NHs or short-term facilities were included in the NH group (n = 415) and those who died in SPC were included in the SPC group (n = 355). Demographic and clinical variables were included from the Swedish National Airway Register and variables concerning EOL care from the Swedish Register of Palliative Care.
RESULTS: Symptom prevalence was similar in NHs and SPC, but symptom assessment (32% vs 20%), symptom relief medication (93-98% in SPC vs 74-90% in NH), EOL discussions (88% vs 66%), and bereavement support (94% vs 67%) were more likely in SPC (in all comparisons p < 0.001). Younger age and co-habiting increased the probability of dying in SPC (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Despite similar symptom prevalence, older persons are more likely to be referred to NHs. If applying a palliative care philosophy in NHs, routine symptom assessment and prescription of rescue medication for frequent symptoms, would be more likely. Promoting advance care planning and EOL discussions at an earlier stage would result in more prepared patients and families.
AIM: To illuminate experiences of living with life-threatening diseases as described in blogs and the experience of blogging about these matters.
METHODS: A secondary analysis of 21 blogs was performed.
RESULTS: It was difficult for bloggers to accept what they perceived to be the unacceptable aspects of having an life-threatening disease. They searched for hope and acceptance, and tried to manage their life. They felt strengthened by supportive encounters with health professionals, relatives, friends, and from their blogging. However, they also felt that they were set aside in relation to both health professionals and relatives.
CONCLUSION: These patients appreciated being able to express their feelings and received support from their readers. Even if patient blogs can be used in health care, research and education, there is a lack of research studies that have examined the benefits of using blogging for any of these purposes.
Nursing education needs to prepare students for care of dying patients. The aim of this study was to describe the development of nursing students' attitudes toward caring for dying patients and their perceived preparedness to perform end-of-life care. A longitudinal study was performed with 117 nursing students at six universities in Sweden. The students completed the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale (FATCOD) questionnaire at the beginning of first and second year, and at the end of third year of education. After education, the students completed questions about how prepared they felt by to perform end-of-life care. The total FATCOD increased from 126 to 132 during education. Five weeks' theoretical palliative care education significantly predicted positive changes in attitudes toward caring for dying patients. Students with five weeks' theoretical palliative care training felt more prepared and supported by the education to care for a dying patient than students with shorter education. A minority felt prepared to take care of a dead body or meet relatives.