Spiritual Conversations - "Nurses dialogue with people with an experience of mental illness who facing death from a life limiting illness."

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Picot, Sharon
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Flinders University
Copyright © 2018 the author. All rights reserved.
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Individuals with mental illness are dying up to 20 years younger than the general population. These individuals have frequently experienced a lifetime of stigma and social isolation. In addition, studies have shown that dying at a younger age is a risk factor for existential or spiritual despair. Hence, addressing spiritual concerns can be important dimensions in their nursing care. However, literature exploring this populations' unique care needs when they face a life limiting illness is scarce. The research question for this study is Does the current culture of mental health services assist in facilitating spiritual care for individuals with a severe mental illness who are facing death? The methodologies used to answer the research question were autoethnography and focussed ethnography. Seventeen nurses were interviewed from September 2016 to April 2017. The participants included 11 mental health nurses and 6 palliative care nurses. Interviewing two sets of nurses allowed for a comparison between the two subgroups.� Preliminary results indicate that despite participants practicing nursing within a culture that privileges the bio-medical paradigm, both mental health and palliative nurses were able to address the spiritual concerns of individuals who were facing death through the cultivation of therapeutic relationships. The results suggest that nurses were working with patients to explore issues of fear, meaning and joy at end of life. This presentation will discuss the autoethnographer's and nurses' experience of having these spiritual conversations with these individuals.
This abstract was prepared for the inaugural 'HDR Student Conference', Flinders University, November 2018. Copyright © the author
Dying, Mental Illness, Engagement, Therapeutic, Spiritual
Picot, Sharon (2018, November) Spiritual Conversations – Nurses dialogue with people with an experience of mental illness who facing death from a life limiting illness.� Paper presented at 'HDR Student conference', Flinders University, Bedford Park.