Dignity-conserving care in palliative care settings: An integrativereview

Bridget johnston, Philip larkin, Michael connolly, Catriona Barry, Melanie Narayanasamy,, Ulrika Ostlund, Sonja McIlfatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives. To report an integrative review of evidence relating todignity-conserving care in palliative care settings. It will also suggest avenues forfuture research.Background. Research suggests that dignity is welcomed by those receiving palliativeand end of life care. However, as dignity is a subjective term, it is not alwaysexplicit how this may be employed by nurses. Given that the preferred place ofcare for patients with palliative care needs is the home, the issue of dignity maybe particularly important for community nurses. Therefore, synthesising evidenceof dignity-conserving care for community nurses caring for people with palliativecare needs provides clarity in a complex area of palliative care research.Design. Integrative literature review.Method. The review involved key bibliographic and review databases CINAHL,MEDLINE, EMBASE, ASSIA and PsycInfo. Medical Subject Headings and freeterms were undertaken for articles published from January 2009–September 2014and retrieved papers were assessed against inclusion criteria. Final included articleswere reviewed for reported dignity-conserving care actions, which were classifiedunder nine themes of the Dignity Model.Results. Thirty-one articles were included. Nine Dignity Model themes were used toclassify care actions: Level of Independence; Symptom Distress; Dignity-ConservingPerspectives; Dignity-Conserving Practices; Privacy Boundaries; Social Support; CareTenor; Burden to Others; and Aftermath Concerns. Reported care actions includedlistening, conveying empathy, communication and involving patients in care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Feb 2015


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