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Index de Enfermería

On-line version ISSN 1699-5988Print version ISSN 1132-1296


SCHMIDT, J.; MONTOYA, R.; GARCIA-CARO, M.P.  and  CRUZ, F.. Two end-of-life processes: When professional intervention makes all the difference. Index Enferm [online]. 2008, vol.17, n.4, pp.256-260. ISSN 1699-5988.

Introduction. From the point of view of modern curative medicine, death is an undesirable consequence which should not be considered as a possibility. Although the development of palliative medicine is changing those attitudes, many organisational problems still persist. Methodology. In this article we present two end-of-life processes: one in a palliative care unit and one in conventional hospital units. Data were collected from family members a month after the patients' deaths. Data were qualitatively analysed using narrative analysis. Results. The knowledge or omission of diagnostic and prognostic makes all the difference in both processes and in the subsequent families' grief. Discussion. Being aware of the proximity of his death allows the patient and his family to elaborate advanced bereavement strategies and to keep a feeling of "self-control". Not knowing such a diagnostic is translated into a fruitless effort within the curative alternative. Palliative care has proven that when physical and emotional needs are taken into account in an end-of-life process, the patient's and family's frustration decrease.

Keywords : Dying; palliative care; communication; bad news; diagnosis disclosure.

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