end-of-life curriculum, narratives, palliative care



  1. Wittenberg-Lyles, Elaine M. PhD
  2. Greene, Karol BA
  3. Sanchez-Reilly, Sandra MD


This study undertook a content analysis of 105 published narratives from healthcare providers in end-of-life care settings from 1998 to 2005 using qualitative content analysis and constant comparison techniques. Findings demonstrated that healthcare providers continually struggle between extending length of life and preserving quality of life when dealing with terminally ill patients. Future curriculum in narrative medicine must include an examination of healthcare provider narratives and patient narratives, and such formats should include discussions of these struggles by addressing relational intimacy with terminally ill patients, spirituality, the desire to control, and emotional expression when providing palliative care.