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Supporting families in palliative care 

Supporting families in palliative care
Chapter:
Supporting families in palliative care
Author(s):

Rose Steele

and Betty Davies

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199332342.003.0031
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date: 12 November 2018

Family-centered care is a basic tenet of palliative care philosophy, which recognizes that terminally ill patients exist within the family system. The patient’s illness affects the whole family, and, in turn, the family’s responses affect the patient. Supporting families in palliative care means that nurses must plan their care with an understanding not only of the individual patient’s needs but also of the family system within which the patient functions. Families with a member who requires palliative care are in a “transition of fading away,” characterized by seven dimensions that help nurses to understand families’ experiences and to support them. Level of family functioning also plays a role in family experience and serves to guide nursing interventions for families with varying levels of functioning.

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