Hopp hos döende patienter med cancer i palliativ hemsjukvård
Sammanfattning: Hope is meaningful and very important for people – even for people at the last days of their lives. Health professionals can sometimes describe hope in terms of hope for a cure, which may lead to feelings of hopelessness or empty hope for a patient with an incurable disease. In research, there is very little written about hope in the palliative home care context, even more so from the patient’s perspective. The aim of this project was to study how hope changes over time in cancer patients at the palliative phase, and to study the strategies used to cope with these changes. This was studied from the patients’ own perspective and in a home care context, but with the ambition of developing the results into a model or theory.Grounded Theory was the chosen research approach. Two sets of tape-recorded interviews were made with 11 patients in specialized palliative home care – a total of 20 interviews. The patients were also asked to write diaries about changes in their everyday feelings of hope within a 4-week period. Measurements of hope (HHI-S) and symptoms (ESAS) were also made at three occasions. Constant comparison of data was made during the analysis.The results showed that patients’ hope changed over time. Hope was described as a process involving a glimmering core of hope untouched by external circumstances (Study I). Hope was described in different processes, creation of a convinced hope, creation of simulated hope, collection and maintaining moments of hope and gradually extinct hope. The dying patient’s hope can be described as a gradual and successive adaptation process. Strategies for maintaining life were expressed to preserve the meaning in life, to communicate with others about life and death, to involve "fellow travelers" and to change focus. The strategy of preparing for death involved; taking responsibility for the future and seeing possibilities of living on even after death (Study II). The strategies were parallel to, and dependent on each other. It is important that health professionals understand the patient’s own strategies for maintaining life/hope, as well as the patient’s own preparations for death, so that hope is never taken away despite preparations at the end of life.In summary, hope can be interpreted as a changing process over time – a process that can change quickly, but is based on an inviolable core that is not easily moved by external circumstances. It is important that the health care personnel realize that patients simultaneously prepare for their deaths even as they try to maintain hope. Deeper understanding of what hope can mean for a patient can decrease the risk of hope being taken away during one’s final days.
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