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family, hospital, interpretive phenomenology, palliative care, patient, patient-centered care, qualitative research, terminal care



  1. Spichiger, Elisabeth PhD


This interpretive phenomenological study explored patients' with a terminal illness and their family members' experiences of hospital end-of-life care. Findings show that patients and families led unique lives, and even when a terminal illness intruded and enforced a hospital stay, they held on to familiar practices. Patients and family members felt best cared for when healthcare providers supported them in their endeavors to go on with their usual life as much as possible. To achieve this, professionals are challenged to recognize patients and family members as persons and to integrate the latter's lived experiences in their care interventions.