Exploring Objects at the End of Life
2016 (English)In: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, ISSN 0885-3924, E-ISSN 1873-6513, Vol. 52, no 6, E37-E37 p.Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Objectives: While there has been an increasing recognition that the physical setting matters in end-of-life (EoL) care, objects (e.g. beds, socks, hearing aids) are notably overlooked and it is unknown how they add meaning to care settings, particularly beyond usability and functionality. In our study, we set out to explore the EoL setting from the perspective of family members. Through a preliminary analysis we noted that objects were mentioned throughout the narratives and therefore we focused our analysis on exploring the roles of objects. Methods: We interviewed 25 family members, recruited from residential care facilities, as well as palliative in-patient and homecare units, who had witnessed the dying and death of someone close to them. The interviews were prompted by open inquiries about EoL experiences, rather than specific questions about settings. The narratives were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Objects were conceptualized as having interconnected roles relating to temporality, the everyday, and care. Many talked about rearranging objects to mark beginnings and ends in moments of transitions and thus rendering temporality tangible. Simultaneously, objects had roles in transforming everyday life and were assigned new meanings through the contexts they were part of. Objects were also interpreted as signs of care, where lack of sensitivity towards surrounding objects was associated with poor care. Conclusions: Our results indicate that objects are dynamic, in that interaction with objects and the meaning of these interactions change throughout the dying process. This contrasts with other studies, which have tended to approach the EoL settings as discrete with predefined properties, reinforcing instrumental and unidirectional understandings of relationships between people and settings. Our study expands on knowledge of objects in EoL processes and we argue the potential of this knowledge as a means to enhance supportive EoL settings.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 52, no 6, E37-E37 p.
Nursing Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Neurology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-132162DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2016.10.104ISI: 000393184800067OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-132162DiVA: diva2:1079147
21st International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal, Canada, 18–21 October, 2016.
Meeting Abstract: D11-C2017-03-072017-03-072017-03-07Bibliographically approved