Patients' perceptions of visiting: a phenomenological study in a specialist palliative care unit

Thomas, R.
November 2001
Palliative Medicine;Nov2001, Vol. 15 Issue 6, p499
Academic Journal
It is assumed that visiting increases peace of mind and patient's well-being, but this assumption has not yet been formally studied from the patient's viewpoint. The family and close friends are seen as an integral part of the care team for patients receiving palliative care, yet the perception of their contribution in the experiences of the patients has been rarely recorded. This study uses qualitative methods to investigate patients' perceptions of visiting, by using a phenomenological approach. Six patients took part in semi-structured interviews; these were thematically analysed for common experiences, and highlighted two themes: coping and control. Whilst being different themes, they are inextricably linked, as an element of control will usually help coping. Methods of increasing patient control over visiting may, therefore, enhance coping mechanisms.


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