family, hospice, patient-centered care, recipient of care



  1. Nebel, Sarah MA


The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization positions the patient and family as a single unit of care. This conceptualization is supported in research regarding patient-centered care, communal coping, and joint decision making. However, scholars have also found evidence that the illness experience affects patients and family members differently. Given that dying can be conceptualized as both an individualized process and a communal process, it is imperative that practitioners engage in explicit conversations with hospice patients and families to understand how they conceptualize their unique roles in the receipt of hospice care. By engaging in such discussions, family members' and patients' needs and expectations can be clearly understood by both recipients and providers of care.