Using Cards to Facilitate Conversations About Wishes and Priorities of Patients in Palliative Care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To avoid discomfort, health care professionals may hesitate to pursue conversations about end of life with patients. Certain tools have the potential to facilitate smoother conversations in this matter. The objective was to explore the experiences of patients in palliative care in using statement cards to talk about their wishes and priorities. Forty-six cards with statements of wishes and priorities were developed and tested for feasibility with 40 participants, who chose the 10 most important cards and shared their thoughts about the statements and conversation. Data from individual interviews and field notes were analyzed using content analysis. One category describes practical aspects of using the cards including the relevance of the content and the process of sorting the cards. The second category describes the significance of using the cards including becoming aware of what is important, sharing wishes and priorities, and reflecting on whether wishes and priorities change closer to death. The cards helped raise awareness and verbalize wishes and priorities. All statements were considered relevant. The conversations focused not only on death and dying, but also on challenges in the participants' current life situation. For the most ill and frail participants, the number of cards needs to be reduced.


External organisations
  • Kristianstad University
  • Lund University
  • Region Skåne
  • Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College
  • Karolinska Institutet
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • cards, communication, palliative care, qualitative research, wishes and priorities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of hospice and palliative nursing : JHPN : the official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb
Publication categoryResearch