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A discourse of silence: professional carers reasoning about death and dying in nursing homes

Österlind, Jane; Hansebo, Görel; Andersson, Janicke LU ; Ternestedt, Britt-Marie and Hellström, Ingrid (2011) In Ageing and Society 31. p.529-544
Abstract
Nursing homes are a setting in which death and dying is common. How death and dying is articulated and the actions that take place in a nursing home constitute a discourse that guides the staff in their work. The aim of this study was to explore the discourse of death and dying in nursing homes from the perspective and understanding of the staff. The study draws on Foucault’s discourse analysis. Data are

from five focus-group discussions held with 28 staff of four different nursing homes in Sweden. The findings show that the discourse had three characteristics : (a) dying was silent and silenced, (b) emotions were pushed into the background,

and (c) attentiveness to death arose after the moment of the elderly person’s... (More)
Nursing homes are a setting in which death and dying is common. How death and dying is articulated and the actions that take place in a nursing home constitute a discourse that guides the staff in their work. The aim of this study was to explore the discourse of death and dying in nursing homes from the perspective and understanding of the staff. The study draws on Foucault’s discourse analysis. Data are

from five focus-group discussions held with 28 staff of four different nursing homes in Sweden. The findings show that the discourse had three characteristics : (a) dying was silent and silenced, (b) emotions were pushed into the background,

and (c) attentiveness to death arose after the moment of the elderly person’s death.

The structure of the discourse was characterised by a movement between two positions, avoiding and confronting death, themain focus being on avoidance. The articulation and practices of silence highlight a need to regard dying as a process that requires attention. One way to ensure appropriate attention could be to instil

the philosophy of palliative care in nursing homes, including training and support for the staff in their work. The study demonstrates that nursing-home staff need more knowledge and support to enable them to feel that they do a good job. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
older people, death and dying, nursing home, staff, focus-group discussions, discourse analysis
in
Ageing and Society
volume
31
pages
529 - 544
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:78650980318
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
5f7ab582-2e18-4b66-96b8-3bd2929bd9bb (old id 3560958)
alternative location
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8235355
date added to LUP
2013-03-06 15:20:40
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:23:49
@article{5f7ab582-2e18-4b66-96b8-3bd2929bd9bb,
  abstract     = {Nursing homes are a setting in which death and dying is common. How death and dying is articulated and the actions that take place in a nursing home constitute a discourse that guides the staff in their work. The aim of this study was to explore the discourse of death and dying in nursing homes from the perspective and understanding of the staff. The study draws on Foucault’s discourse analysis. Data are<br/><br>
from five focus-group discussions held with 28 staff of four different nursing homes in Sweden. The findings show that the discourse had three characteristics : (a) dying was silent and silenced, (b) emotions were pushed into the background,<br/><br>
and (c) attentiveness to death arose after the moment of the elderly person’s death.<br/><br>
The structure of the discourse was characterised by a movement between two positions, avoiding and confronting death, themain focus being on avoidance. The articulation and practices of silence highlight a need to regard dying as a process that requires attention. One way to ensure appropriate attention could be to instil<br/><br>
the philosophy of palliative care in nursing homes, including training and support for the staff in their work. The study demonstrates that nursing-home staff need more knowledge and support to enable them to feel that they do a good job.},
  author       = {Österlind, Jane and Hansebo, Görel and Andersson, Janicke and Ternestedt, Britt-Marie and Hellström, Ingrid},
  keyword      = {older people,death and dying,nursing home,staff,focus-group discussions,discourse analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {529--544},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Ageing and Society},
  title        = {A discourse of silence: professional carers reasoning about death and dying in nursing homes},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2011},
}