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Bridget Johnston, Ulrika Ístlund, Hilary Brown
International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 18, Iss. 10, 26 Oct 2012, pp 483 - 489

People nearing the end of life fear loss of dignity, and a central tenet of palliative care is to help people die with dignity. The Dignity Care Pathway (DCP) is an intervention based on the Chochinov theoretical model of dignity care. It has four sections: a manual, a Patient Dignity Inventory, reflective questions, and care actions. Method: The feasibility and acceptability of the DCP were evaluated using a qualitative design with a purposive sample of community nurses. Data was collected from April to October 2010 using in-depth interviews, reflective diaries, and case studies and then analysed using framework analysis. Results: The DCP was acceptable to the community nurses, helped them identify when patients were at the end of life, identified patients' key concerns, and aided nurses in providing holistic end-of-life care. It requires the nurse to have excellent communication skills. Some of the nurses found it hard to initiate a conversation on dignity-conserving care. Conclusion: The DCP helps nurses to deliver individualised care and psychological care, which has previously been identified as a difficult area for community nurses. All of the nurses wished to continue to use the DCP and would recommend it to others.

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