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Four aspects of self-image close to death at home
Division of Nursing, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm and Department of Palliative Care Research, Ersta Sköndal University College, Stockholm, Sweden.
Division of Nursing, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm and Department of Palliative Care Research, Ersta Sköndal University College, Stockholm, Sweden and Research and Development Unit, Stockholm Sjukhem Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden.
School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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2011 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 6, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Living close to death means an inevitable confrontation with one's own existential limitation. In this article, we argue that everyday life close to death embodies an identity work in progress. We used a narrative approach and a holistic-content reading to analyze 12 interviews conducted with three persons close to death. By illuminating the unique stories and identifying patterns among the participants’ narratives, we found four themes exemplifying important aspects of the identity work related to everyday life close to death. Two of the themes, named “Inside and outside of me” and “Searching for togetherness,” represented the core of the self-image and were framed by the other themes, “My place in space” and “My death and my time.” Our findings elucidate the way the individual stories moved between the past, the present, and the future. This study challenges the idea that everyday life close to impending death primarily means limitations. The findings show that the search for meaning, new knowledge, and community can form a part of a conscious and ongoing identity work close to death.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 6, no 2
Keyword [en]
Death and dying, identity, narrative research, palliative care, qualitative inquiry, self-image
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68907DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v6i2.5931ISI: 000290795000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-68907DiVA: diva2:422017
Available from: 2011-06-10 Created: 2011-06-10 Last updated: 2014-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Hellström, IngridSandberg, Jonas
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