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Not just things: the roles of objects at the end of life
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Karolinska Institutet, LIME, MMC, Innovative Care research group, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8549-1886
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2018 (English)In: Sociology of Health and Illness, ISSN 0141-9889, E-ISSN 1467-9566, Vol. 40, no 4, p. 735-749Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While the study of objects in care contexts is an emerging research field, it is largely overlooked in end of life (EoL) care. In this study, we empirically and inductively explore the roles of objects at the EoL from the perspective of bereaved family members. Open individual interviews were conducted with 25 family members recruited from palliative in-patient and homecare units, as well as residential care facilities. After verbatim transcription, the interviews were analysed thematically. Based on these interviews, we conceptualise the roles of objects as relating to temporality, transformations of the everyday, and care. Through analysis we offer two main insights, the first relating to interdependency between objects and people, and the second to the recognition of objects as simultaneously flexible and stable in this interdependent relationship. The capacity and challenge of objects as part of EoL care lies in their ability to encompass various viewpoints and relationships simultaneously. This might provide valuable insights for staff caring for dying persons and their families. We propose that staff's ability to navigate objects in care practices could be meaningful in supporting the relationships between individuals in EoL situations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2018. Vol. 40, no 4, p. 735-749
Keywords [en]
death and dying, end-of-life care, family members, objects, relationships
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145460DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12719ISI: 000431674900009PubMedID: 29480548OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-145460DiVA, id: diva2:1187678
Available from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-03-05 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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