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Community nurses' experiences of ethical problems in end-of-life care in the patient's own home

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Abstract

Aim

To gain a deeper understanding of community nurses' experiences of ethical problems in end-of-life care in the patient′s own home.

Method

Ten female nurses from five different communities with experience of end-of-life care were interviewed. A hermeneutic approach inspired by Gadamer was used to analyse the qualitative data from the interviews.

Findings

In the first step of interpretation, two themes emerged: Uncomfortable feelings and Lack of cooperation and in the second step, one theme Lack of security emerged. Finally, the overall interpretation revealed the theme Feelings of loss of control in end-of-life care in the patient's own home.

Conclusion

The nurses exhibited commitment and a desire to do good when caring for patients in the end-of-life phase, even if they sometimes experienced feelings of lack of control. This implies that, when confronted with care-related issues, they have the power to both act and react. This study aimed to increase understanding of ethical problems that arise in end-of-life care in the patient's own home and revealed the need to take the patients', relatives' and nurses' perspectives on health and suffering into consideration to ensure good end-of-life home care.

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