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Document Typology: Research
Methodology addressed by the publication:Narrative medicine
Title of document: Unbearable suffering and will to live
Name of publisher: ARÁN EDICIONES, S.L.
Language of the publication: Spanish
Language of the review: English
"This paper introduces the results of a qualitative study based on interviews with 144 subjects, amongst them 120 patients with diverse pathologies (317% with an estimated survival of 1 year). The study was conducted mainly in Hospital Donostia (Spain) from June to October 2005, its main goal being to identify perceptions and values about the patients’ experience of suffering. In addition to confirming previous results, the study proved that the experience of suffering was variable amongst patients, and originated in multiple factors. Suffering is a relational phenomenon, and so is the will to live, which makes itself visible in the patient’s recourse to his or her family and healthcare relationships network, as well as to spiritual comfort and resignation, or other forms of enduring. The methodology employed, essentially narrative, allowed face-to-face encounters between patients and professionals, which provided wellbeing to patientsand some clues to professionals so as to improve their relationship. Introducing narratives in clinical practice enhances professional self-knowledge, and attains some of the most valuable goals of palliative medicine."
Reviewer's comments on the document:
Because of the focus on Narrative Medicine on Paliative Care for those who not only have a very deteriorated health but are suffering.
It becomes very important to deliver a health care based on the understanding of the suffering of the patient. This suffering is a fisical suffering but also a phsichological one and is a relative experience that only can be well understood if treated with the means of narrative medicine. Only by this means patients can translate and communicate to their doctors and care proffesionals their suffering experiences.
Where to find it:

MEDICINA PALIATIVA Vol. 13: N.º 4; 197-206, 2006

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