COLLECTIVE CASE STUDY
EXAMINING PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL,
REGARDING END-OF-LIFE CARE DECISIONS
Leadership and Education
Abstract of a doctoral dissertation at the Adrian Dominican School of Education
of Barry University. Dissertation directed by Sister Phyllis Superfisky, O.S.F., Ph.D.
Number of pages in text 349.
This qualitative study investigated the emotional, psychological, and
spiritual experiences and perspectives of nine participants who had attended a
holistic seminar instructing them about how and why it is important to make
end-of-life care (EOL) decisions. This study also examined and analyzed various themes from the
related experiences of the participants as they faced EOL care decisions.
self-selected participants of the study were all health care professionals who
were involved with the elderly or EOL care in some capacity.
Data were gathered through observations, documents and interviews. Results indicated that participants dreaded thinking about
their own death and used defense mechanisms of denial and transference to self
protect throughout the interviews. Defense
mechanisms were effectively diffused, however.
were then more comfortable in sharing their experiences, and common themes such
as motivation to attend a seminar, decision-making, sharing, feelings, emotions,
actions taken, spirituality, and dying with dignity emerged.
Results also indicated that participants had difficulty facing EOL care
issues because they were unfamiliar with the processes and new technologies of
death and dying and had not received training in intuitive or natural
decision-making processes. Conclusions were discussed and recommendations for
clinical practice and further research was proffered.