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Type: Journal article
Title: The experiences, coping mechanisms and impact of death and dying on palliative medicine specialists
Author: Zambrano Ramos, S.
Chur-Hansen, A.
Crawford, G.
Citation: Palliative and Supportive Care, 2014; 12(4):309-316
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1478-9523
Statement of
Sofia C. Zambrano, Anna Chur-Hansen and Gregory B. Crawford
Abstract: Objectives: Research on the experiences, coping mechanisms, and impact of death and dying on the lives of palliative medicine specialists is limited. Most research focuses on the multidisciplinary team or on nurses who work with the dying. Fewer studies consider medical professionals trained in palliative medicine. This study aimed to explore the experiences, coping mechanisms, and impact of death and dying on palliative medicine specialists when dealing with their patients at the end of life. Methods: A qualitative research approach guided the study, one-on-one interview data were analysed thematically. A purposeful sampling technique was employed for participant recruitment. Seven palliative medicine specialists practicing in one city participated in open-ended, in-depth interviews. Results: The analysis of participants’ accounts identified three distinct themes. These were Being with the dying, Being affected by death, and dying and Adjusting to the impact of death and dying. Significance of results: This study further contributes to the understanding of the impact of death and dying on professionals who care for dying patients and their families. Despite the stressors and the potential for burnout and compassion fatigue, these participants employed strategies that enhanced meaning-making and emphasized the rewards of their work. However, the consequences of work stressors cannot be underestimated in the practice of palliative care
Keywords: Palliative medicine physicians
psychological adjustment
life experiences
end of life care
Description: Please see erratum at
Rights: © Cambridge University Press 2013
DOI: 10.1017/S1478951513000138
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Psychiatry publications

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