Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The inner life at the end of life
by McSherry, Christina B., Ph.D., New York University, 2008, 239; 3382429
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the lived experience of the inner life of ten hospice patients as they faced their dying experience. Using Husserl's phenomenological perspective ten hospice patients were interviewed. Data were analyzed following Colaizzi's analysis technique. The Results are organized into three meta-themes: (1) Life Review Leading to Life Perspectives; (2) Factors Related to Death Attitudes; and (3) Lifestyle Changes, including the sub-themes Living While Dying, and The Search: To Find an Acceptable and Satisfying Completion to this Life.

The inner life at the end of life was viewed as a broad framework that had dimensions that all participants shared yet within that framework there were specific aspects that each individual expressed which made their dying experience unique.

The significance of this study was the discovery of a process that can be utilized to guide and support dying patients. The meta-themes and subthemes of this study revealed what the author calls the “Inner Life at the End of Life.” Within this process participants reviewed their lives and drew conclusions based on their life perspectives and attitude towards their death. The end of life changes that participants experienced during their day to day life forced participants to seek resources and new strategies to help them to maintain control and stability in their everyday existence while seeking meaning and significance. When new challenges presented themselves, the participants implemented “The Search: To Find an Acceptable and Satisfying Completion to this Life”, reaching out to family members, friends, and the hospice team in an effort to relieve their discomfort and regain a degree of control.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sherman, Deborah Witt
School: New York University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Attitudes towards death, End of life, Safe environments
Publication Number: 3382429
ISBN: 9781109434415
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