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Protection against perceptions of powerlessness and helplessness during palliative care: The family members' perspective.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Advanced Home Care in Linköping. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in East Östergötland, Center of Palliative Care.
Karolinska Institutet, FoUU, Stockholms Sjukhem, Stockholm.
2011 (English)In: Palliative & Supportive Care, ISSN 1478-9515, E-ISSN 1478-9523, Vol. 9, no 3, 251-262 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective:Resilience in relation to coping with stress, loss, and bereavement has recently received increased attention. The aim of the current study was to describe aspects that are experienced as a protection against powerlessness and/or helplessness during advanced palliative home care (APHC) or as a help when coping with such perceptions.Method:Both family members during ongoing APHC and family members 3-9 months after the patient's death responded (in total, N = 233; response rate 72%) to a postal questionnaire with mainly open-ended questions. The text responses were analyzed using Manifest Content Analysis.Results:Protection against powerlessness and helplessness had been facilitated by a stable patient condition, the patient coping well, a trusting relationship with the patient, practical and emotional support from family and friends, access to palliative expertise, and staff support that was both individually-focused and cooperative. Other aspects that had helped or protected family members against powerlessness and helplessness were a belief that they had their own reliable knowledge to manage the difficult situation, talking to someone, doing good for the patient, distracting activities, acceptance, meaning and hope, and an inner feeling of security.Significance of results:The findings are discussed in relation to existential psychology, the dual process model of coping with bereavement, and repressive coping. Clinical implications are suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press , 2011. Vol. 9, no 3, 251-262 p.
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70684DOI: 10.1017/S1478951511000204OAI: diva2:441048
Available from: 2011-09-14 Created: 2011-09-14 Last updated: 2014-10-21

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Milberg, Anna
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Division of Health, Activity and CareFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Advanced Home Care in LinköpingCenter of Palliative Care
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