Life perceptions of patients receiving palliative care and experiencing psycho-social-spiritual healing

Lingsheng Li, Danetta H. Sloan, Ambereen K. Mehta, Gordon Willis, Meaghann S. Weaver, Ann C. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: It is important to identify, from the patients’ perspectives, the different factors that contribute toward psycho-social-spiritual healing. Methods: This was a qualitative study that took place at a large research center, an underserved clinic, and a community hospital. We used a needs assessment questionnaire and open-ended questions to assess the constituents of psycho-social-spiritual healing: (I) how previous life experiences affected patients’ present situations in dealing with their illnesses; (II) barriers to palliative care; and (III) benefits of palliative care. Results: Of a total of 30 participants from 3 different study sites, 24 (80%) were receiving inpatient or outpatient palliative care at a research center. Thirteen (43%) participants were female, 10 (33%) were Black/African American, and 16 (53%) reported being on disability. While the initial shock of the diagnosis made participants feel unprepared for their illnesses, many looked to role models, previous work experiences, and spiritual as well as religious support as sources of strength and coping mechanisms. Barriers to palliative care were identified as either external (lack of proper resources) or internal (symptom barriers and perceived self-limitations). The feeling of “being seen/being heard” was perceived by many participants as the most beneficial aspect of palliative care. Conclusions: The needs assessment questionnaire and open-ended questions presented in this study may be used in clinical settings to better help patients achieve psycho-social-spiritual healing through palliative care and to help clinicians learn about the person behind the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Palliative Medicine
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Barriers to palliative care
  • Benefits of palliative care
  • Patient perceptions
  • Psycho-social-spiritual healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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