Publicaciones científicas

The state of transience, and its influence on the wish to die of advanced disease patients: insights from a qualitative phenomenological study

26-feb-2024 | Revista: BMC Palliative Care

Alazne Belar  1 , Maria Arantzamendi  2 , Philip Larkin  3 , Iñaki Saralegui  4 , Yolanda Santesteban  5 , Nerea Alonso  4 , Marina Martínez  6 , Carlos Centeno  7

Background: The experience of Wish to Die is common in patients living with Advanced Disease. It has been studied worldwide and qualitative studies have contributed to the understanding of the complexity of the phenomenon of the WTD but a deeper understanding on the individual's views is still needed. The objective of this study was to identify common characteristics of the experience of wish to die in advanced disease.

Methods: A phenomenological study was carried out with multicenter participation of patients with advanced disease who had expressed their wish to die to health professionals. Semi-structured interviews were employed to obtain an in-depth perspective of each patient's lived experience. A phenomenological analysis of the data collected was performed to describe and explore the characteristic aspects of the phenomenon under study.

Results: Fourteen patients with advanced disease were interviewed. Most of them had cancer. In the analysis of the patients' accounts of their experiences, three common characteristics were identified: a) experiencing a state of transience; b) the attempt to reconnect with oneself; and c) additional disease-related aspects that influence the wish to die. Patients expressed the need for a safe space to address the wish to die and the importance of receiving care that considers both 'being' and 'doing'.

Conclusions: Patients with advanced disease and wish to die experience a state of transience where the patient lives and ephemeral state of existence. Interventions focused on reinforcing the intrinsic value of the individual emerge as essential components of a compassionate accompaniment of those facing the wish to die.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  BMC Palliat Care. 2024 Feb 26;23(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s12904-024-01380-z