Äldre personers sista tid i livet. Livskvalitet, vård, omsorg och närståendes situation.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

Abstract

The aim of this thesis was to investigate old people's care and quality of life during the last period of life, but also to investigate their own and next-of-kin's experience of this phase. The thesis is based on four studies using separate samples. The sample (n=1198) in study I was drawn from the care and services part of the sub-study ?Good Aging in Skåne? (GAS). The criteria for inclusion in study I were: being 75 years and older having died during the years 2001?2004 and having received public care and services at home or in special accommodation. The study sample in study II comprised 411 people being 75 years and older of whom fifty of the respondents (the study group) had died one year after data collection, the 361 survivors were considered a comparison group. In study III, 17 people aged 75 years or older, who received municipal help and/or care and had a life-threatening disease and/or received palliative care, were interviewed. In study IV 17 next-of-kin's of people aged 75 years and older who had recently died and had received help and/or care from the municipality in the last phase of life, were interviewed. Quantitative descriptive statistics, comparative statistics and logistic regression analysis, but also qualitative content analysis, were used when analysing the data.

The results showed that in the last year of life, 82% of those living at home and 50% of those living in special accommodation were hospitalised. The results also showed that those living at home and those with several hospital stays more often died in hospital than those living in special accommodation and those with fewer hospitals stay. More visits to physicians in outpatient care predicted death in hospital, while living in special accommodation and PADL dependency predicted death outside hospital (Paper I). The results in paper II showed that the study group had a lower QoL than the comparison group. Factors that effected the quality of life negatively were more admissions to hospital and a larger number of health complaints. The analysis showed that factors predicting mortality were older age and more health complaints. The older persons? experience of their situation could be understood as Turning inwards to come to peace with the past, the present and approaching death while being trapped by health complaints. Six categories embraced the experience of aspects that constitute a good life in the last phase of life; Maintaining dignity, Enjoying small things, Feelings of ?being at home?, Being in the hands of others, trying to adjust, Still being important for other people and Completing life while facing death (Paper III). The next of kin's experience of this situation could be understood as Being a companion in the transition towards an inevitable death feeling of having the major responsibility and needing to be acknowledged by professionals, which included the categories: Being a companion on the path to death; Focusing on the needs of the dying person, and making adjustments to everyday life; Feeling the major responsibility, and Gaining strength from support.

The results showed that older peoples? last phase of life is coloured by health complaints and frequent visits to hospital, which in turn affects their quality of life. Their own experience of this situation was being in the hands of several care providers, and trying to adjust to the situation. To provide high quality care in this phase it is important to increase the co-operation between various care providers. It also seems important for older people to have the possibility to enjoy the small things in life, being able to still be involved in the world around, and to be supported to complete life in order to achieve peace of mind. As the next-of-kin are involved in the care and are emotionally affected by the situation, their needs for support should also be acknowledged. This means they need to be seen by the professionals as well as by others around in order to retain their sense of participation, even when professional care providers are involved.

Details

Authors
  • Magdalena Andersson
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing

Keywords

  • Gerontologi, Palliative care, Public care, Experience, Quality of life, Next of kin, Qualitative research, Quantitative research, Gerontology, Frail elderly, End-of-life
Original languageSwedish
QualificationDoctor
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Anna-Karin Edberg, Supervisor
  • Hallberg, Ingalill R, Supervisor, External person
Award date2007 Feb 1
Publisher
  • Department of Health Sciences, Lund University
Print ISBNs91-85559-80-6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2007-02-01 Time: 09:00 Place: Hörsal 1 Vårdvetenskapens hus Baravägen 3 221 00 Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Ternestedt, Britt-Marie Title: Professor Affiliation: Ersta Sköndal Högskola --- The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Caring Sciences (Closed 2012) (016514020)

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