Palliative care: a conceptual analysis

Alana Tamar Oliveira de Sousa, Jael Rúbia Figueiredo de Sá França, Maria Miriam Lima da Nóbrega, Maria das Graças Melo Fernandes, Solange Fátima Geraldo da Costa

Abstract


Problem: In order to clarify the meaning of the different dimensions related to the Palliative Care phenomenon, a comprehensive analysis of this concept is necessary. Objective: To develop analysis concerning to Palliative Care concept according to Walker and Avant´s model. Method: Documental research accomplished by means of the analysis of 38 articles published in the period between 2005 and 2009, placed at LILACS and SciELO databases. Results: The analysis enabled to identify that the Palliative Care concept is widely used as regards the health field. While establishing antecedents or events which determine the concept, progressive degree of physical dependence; physical, spiritual and psychological suffering; patient receiving no therapeutic possibilities and family support were verified. In reference to their attributes, comfort promotion; open and sensitive communication with the patient and the family; control/relief of pain; multidisciplinary action; respect for the patients ‘rights; individualized therapeutic planning and humanized care were observed. As consequences, improvement in the patient’s and family’s quality of life; dignified death and complication prevention were perceived. Conclusion: The analysis of the Palliative Care concept allowed the making up of a definition for the phenomenon understood as the multiprofessional, multidimensional and human care provided for the patient who is not receiving therapeutic possibilities aiming to the patient’s and family’s comfort and welfare promotion through the control and relief of symptoms, resulting in the improvement of his or her quality of life and, thus, dignifying his or her dying process.


Keywords


palliative care; terminally ill; nursing

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5935/1676-4285.20102947