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Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 17; doi:10.3390/bs7020017

Final Conversations: Overview and Practical Implications for Patients, Families, and Healthcare Workers

1
Department of Communication Studies, Texas State University, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
2
Department of Communication, Saint Mary’s College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94575, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Scott J. Hunter
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Communication at the End of Life)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [191 KB, uploaded 5 April 2017]

Abstract

The current paper presents a summary of a 12-year body of research on final conversations, which will be useful for healthcare providers who work with patients and family nearing the end-of-life, as well as for patients and their family members. Final conversations encompass any and all conversations that occur between individuals with a terminal diagnosis and their family members (all participants are aware that their loved one is in the midst of the death journey). Final conversations take the family member’s perspective and highlights what are their memorable messages with the terminally ill loved one. In this paper the authors highlight the message themes present at the end-of-life for both adults and children, the functions each message theme serves for family members, and lastly, the communicative challenges of final conversations. Additionally, the authors discuss the current nature and future of final conversations research, with special attention paid to practical implications for healthcare providers, patients, and family members; also, scholarly challenges and future research endeavors are explored. View Full-Text
Keywords: final conversations; end-of-life communication; family communication; death and dying final conversations; end-of-life communication; family communication; death and dying
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Keeley, M.P.; Generous, M.A. Final Conversations: Overview and Practical Implications for Patients, Families, and Healthcare Workers. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 17.

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