Impact of the Use of Non-Pharmacological Care Tools in Building the Perception of Dignity in Ailing People at the End-of-Life

*Corresponding author: Darío I. Radosta*, Socorro Ham, Cynthia Alvarado, Irupé Fernández and Isabel Pincemín

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original research

Abstract

Objective

This paper examines the link between non-pharmacological care tools carried out by volunteers in a hospice and the development of the perception of dignity in people with end-of-life terminal illnesses.

Materials and Methods

We interviewed volunteers from a hospice institution in Argentina, who carried out non-pharmacological care activities aimed at people at the end-of-life. The results of these interviews were analyzed with the Atlas Ti software, using the grounded theory as a form of qualitative codification.

Results

From the codification of the interviews, we obtained the following analysis categories: 1. Caring after the caregivers (mentioned 14 times), 2. Care taking into account the temporal needs of others (mentioned 7 times), 3. Active listening (mentioned 11 times), 4. Environmental aesthetic factors (mentioned 18 times) and 5. Enhancement of autonomy and selfhood (mentioned 22 times).

Discussion

We examined ways in which volunteers associated with the care of people with end-of-life terminal illnesses understand their work from the explanation of the non-pharmacological care activities developed within the institution, as well as the link that these have with the different dimensions of the human sense.

Conclusion

The non-pharmacological care tools, as they alleviate existential/spiritual suffering, impact positively in the possibility of a terminal person’s capacity to perceive herself/himself as worthy.

Keywords

Hospice; Non-pharmacological care; Dignity.