Patienters existentiella behov inom palliativ vård - belyst utifrån ett sjuksköterskeperspektiv
Sammanfattning: Background: In palliative care symptoms such as pain and anxiety are common, but also existential needs. Additionally, the existential, psychological and spiritual pain can be more painful than the physical. Nursing research has shown that patients` spiritual needs often are neglected and that health workers have avoided issues related to these needs. Objective: The aim of the study was to explore nurses´ perceptions and experiences of seeing and meeting patients existential needs in palliative care. Method: Qualitative study in which 13 nurses in specialist palliative care were interviewed. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative manifest and latent content analysis. Results: The nurses felt that patients searched for meaning when they suffered a life-threatening illness. It was revealed that the nurses various views of the existential needs affected the perception of the patient´s spiritual needs. In order to meet the patient`s needs the nurse first must have seen the existential needs of the patient. It also required interest, awareness, courage and sensitivity of the nurses to be able to take advantage of situations when the patient opened up and wanted to share their existential issues and needs. Time was an important component in order to see and meet patients` existential needs, and the time was also a decision of priority. The nurses wished they had more knowledge and training to upgrade their skills in this area. It seemed as if some of the nurses became conscious on their own existential vulnerability when facing the existential questions and needs of the patients. The importance of a functioning team was highlighted and that the nurse could offer other professionals when the need existed. Conclusion: Patients´ existential issues and needs is a complex area that needs further development, even in palliative care.
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