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Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 25; doi:10.3390/bs7020025

Still Searching: A Meta-Synthesis of a Good Death from the Bereaved Family Member Perspective

1
Department of Communication, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
2
Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
3
Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, Cheektowaga, NY 14227, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maureen P. Keeley
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Communication at the End of Life)
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Abstract

The concept of a good death continues to receive attention in end-of-life (EOL) scholarship. We sought to continue this line of inquiry related to a good death by conducting a meta-synthesis of published qualitative research studies that examined a good death from the bereaved family member’s perspective. Results of the meta-synthesis included 14 articles with 368 participants. Based on analysis, we present a conceptual model called The Opportunity Model for Presence during the EOL Process. The model is framed in socio-cultural factors, and major themes include EOL process engagement with categories of healthcare participants, communication and practical issues. The second theme, (dis)continuity of care, includes categories of place of care, knowledge of family member dying and moment of death. Both of these themes lead to perceptions of either a good or bad death, which influences the bereavement process. We argue the main contribution of the model is the ability to identify moments throughout the interaction where family members can be present to the EOL process. Recommendations for healthcare participants, including patients, family members and clinical care providers are offered to improve the quality of experience throughout the EOL process and limitations of the study are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: end of life communication; family; good death; bereavement; presence end of life communication; family; good death; bereavement; presence
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Tenzek, K.E.; Depner, R. Still Searching: A Meta-Synthesis of a Good Death from the Bereaved Family Member Perspective. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 25.

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