A narrative account of the impact of positive thinking on discussions about death and dying
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Goals of work
The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of autologous stem cell transplant recipients (ASCT) and those who care for them.
Materials and methods
This was a qualitative prospective, longitudinal study. Ten patients who were about to have ASCT and nine carers were recruited to the study. Interviews were to be conducted at regular intervals six times over 2 years. The narratives of two widowed carers were analysed using Grounded Theory and read for themes on positive thinking and death.
Positive thinking has a range of meanings, and its use can have a range of consequences. It can either be a useful coping strategy or can interfere with important conversations and planning about the end of life, and subsequently add to the distress of a grieving partner.
It is important for patients, their partners and their health professionals to be able to discuss potential adverse consequences of illness, including death, without being hindered by the obligation to be positive or optimistic.
KeywordsAutologous stem cell transplant Positive thinking Death Carers
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