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Identifying existential distress in people at the end of life

Some people nearing the end of life are more prone to feelings of distress than others
End_of_Life

Some people nearing the end of life are more prone to feelings of distress than others

For people receiving palliative and end of life care, the certainty of their impermanent mortality often means thoughts of existence, life and death are foremost concerns.

Such apprehensions can often be challenging and distressing for patients and their families, as well as the professional staff caring for them.

This Irish study explains how the term ‘existential distress’ is used when people nearing the end of their lives exhibit profound suffering, related particularly to their thoughts on life and existence.

It discusses the experiences of palliative care nurses to show how they identified patients with existential distress and how they helped manage their needs.

Managing distress

Adopting a qualitative descriptive design conducted through semi-structured interviews, researchers recorded, transcribed and analysed the content

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