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Breaking the taboo: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of healthcare professionals' experience of caring for palliative patients with disgusting symptoms.

Muggleton, Joshua and Guy, Helen and Howard, Ruth (2015) Breaking the taboo: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of healthcare professionals' experience of caring for palliative patients with disgusting symptoms. BMJ supportive & palliative care, 5 (2). pp. 189-95. ISSN 2045-4368. This article is accessible to all HEFT staff and students via NHS Evidence www.evidence.nhs.uk by using their HEFT Athens login IDs

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Official URL: http://spcare.bmj.com/content/5/2/189.long

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Disgusting symptoms are common in healthcare settings. Previous research has identified that healthcare professionals systematically avoid contact with patients with disgusting symptoms, potentially compromising patient care. Furthermore, research has highlighted disgust in healthcare professionals as a possible contributory factor to dehumanisation and abuse of patients. Given that healthcare professionals often feel that disgust is unprofessional, they may also feel unable to express or process disgust in their work, potentially impacting their emotional health, and contributing to burning out. Given the ubiquity of disgust in palliative care, we investigated how palliative healthcare professionals' experience and cope with disgust in their work, and how they are supported in doing so.

METHODS AND RESULTS

We interviewed six palliative healthcare professionals and analysed their transcripts using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, from which four themes are discussed.

CONCLUSIONS

Three key findings emerged. Firstly, participants were uncomfortable talking about disgust at work, reducing their access to support for disgust. Secondly, participants often neglected their own emotional needs, and as a result, sometimes become emotionally entangled with patients. Finally, participants were at risk of reducing vital socio-emotional support for patients with disgusting symptoms. Based on our analysis, we suggest interventions to counteract these effects.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is accessible to all HEFT staff and students via NHS Evidence www.evidence.nhs.uk by using their HEFT Athens login IDs
Subjects: WM Psychiatry. Mental health
WT Geriatrics. Elderly care > WT600 Terminal care
Divisions: Clinical Support
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mrs Caroline Tranter
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2015 09:07
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2015 09:07
URI: http://www.repository.heartofengland.nhs.uk/id/eprint/1016

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