Reflections on an international study of non-pharmacological caregiving activities at the end of life
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Earlier this year an interesting manuscript authored by Lindqvist et al. was published, “Complexity in Non- Pharmacological Caregiving Activities at the End of Life: an International Qualitative Study” published in PLoS Medicine, 9, 1-10. The manuscript provides depth and understanding to an experience we will all share; the end of life. The essence of humanity is captured in this work, through the collaboration of nine countries and sixteen facilities. Common human experiences in nonpharmacological caregiving activities (NPCAs) are revealed and patterns of care identified. As nurses ourselves, we were interested to note that the majority of data used in this manuscript came from statements by nurses. We recognised the diversity of NPCAs involved in end of life care and have provided some personal reflections on four of the categories described: ‘Carrying out or abstaining from bodily care and contact’, ‘Listening, talking with, and understanding’, ‘Creating an aesthetic, safe and pleasing environment’, and ‘Being present and enabling the presence of others’. We have added an additional category of ‘NPCAs for the family and staff’, as we felt this was a theme which came through strongly in the work.
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