Perception of discomfort by relatives and nurses in unresponsive terminally ill patients with cancer: A prospective study

Eduardo Bruera, Catherine Sweeney, Jie Willey, J. Lynn Palmer, Florian Strasser, Elizabeth Strauch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Perception of discomfort in dying patients is a risk factor for distress and bereavement among relatives. This study determined the perception of discomfort, the frequency of observed behaviors, and their association among relatives and among nurses who care for unresponsive dying patients. Sixty unresponsive dying patients' relatives and their nurses were asked to evaluate patient discomfort levels, the frequencies of six observed behaviors, and the suspected reasons for the patient discomfort. The mean levels of perceived discomfort were similar, but the association was poor between the relatives and the nurses. Relatives reported significantly more observed behaviors and associated more pain as a reason for patient discomfort than did nurses. The findings suggest that relatives are intensely attuned to their loved ones' conditions and reactions, and nurses' responses are fairly similar. Further research is warranted, however, to distinguish between the distress that the relatives perceive and the actual suffering of patients.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)818-826
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of pain and symptom management
    Volume26
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

    Fingerprint

    Terminally Ill
    Nurses
    Prospective Studies
    Neoplasms
    Bereavement
    Psychological Stress
    Pain
    Research

    Keywords

    • Discomfort
    • Nurses
    • Perception
    • Relatives

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nursing(all)
    • Clinical Neurology
    • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

    Cite this

    Perception of discomfort by relatives and nurses in unresponsive terminally ill patients with cancer : A prospective study. / Bruera, Eduardo; Sweeney, Catherine; Willey, Jie; Palmer, J. Lynn; Strasser, Florian; Strauch, Elizabeth.

    In: Journal of pain and symptom management, Vol. 26, No. 3, 01.09.2003, p. 818-826.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Bruera, Eduardo ; Sweeney, Catherine ; Willey, Jie ; Palmer, J. Lynn ; Strasser, Florian ; Strauch, Elizabeth. / Perception of discomfort by relatives and nurses in unresponsive terminally ill patients with cancer : A prospective study. In: Journal of pain and symptom management. 2003 ; Vol. 26, No. 3. pp. 818-826.
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