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at peace, end of life, resilience building, suffering, supportive communication



  1. Nagano, Hiroaki MD
  2. Chida, Keiko BA
  3. Ozawa, Taketoshi PhD


The authors provided six 180-minute interpersonal assistance workshops using teaching materials from the End-of-Life Care Association: 90 minutes each on supportive communication and role-playing. The content included the following:


* Suffering people are "at peace" with someone who understands their suffering, which starts with building a relationship through empathetic listening. The goal is not to "understand them" but for them to "feel understood."


* Realizing the suffering of others and recognizing the internal moral and emotional strength of those who live with suffering.


* Resilience building: helping caregivers face difficulties even when helpless; remembering one's support networks and valuing oneself.


Participants (n = 114) wrote reflective journals after each session. Two domains and 10 key themes were identified through thematic analysis. The domains comprised topics on the importance of using listening techniques, such as repetition, waiting in silence, and asking questions (not to understand but for dialogue). The 3-month postinterviews revealed that participants could ease their sense of weakness by helping suffering people, which is relevant to work, grief care, and daily life. Changes in relationships between participants and patients were also identified. Role-playing can teach supportive communication, such as listening attentively and accepting others, which may help supporters engage with people experiencing incurable suffering.