• dependence;
  • hospice;
  • hospice nurses;
  • independence;
  • therapeutic nursing

Facing the issue of dependence: some implications from the literature for the hospice and hospice nurses¶ Research and clinical practice suggest that dependence upon others causes distress to those with a life-threatening illness and that the hospice may serve to reinforce feelings of loss of autonomy. Hospice nurses can contribute to good care and act therapeutically to maximize an individual's potential for independent activity where this is possible and desirable. However, literature from other contexts demonstrates variability in the extent to which this is achieved. This paper outlines the problem of dependence in those with a life threatening illness. Therapeutic nursing is explored in relation to issues which may arise in a hospice context, potential relationships between therapeutic nursing and partnership are noted, particularly with regard to the possible meanings of dependence which for some individuals comes to be apprehensively associated with impending death.