Striving for independence: experiences and needs of service users with life limiting conditions

Phil Cotterell
Journal of Advanced Nursing 2008, 62 (6): 665-73

AIM: This paper is a report of a study to explore what service users with a range of life-limiting conditions identify as their key experiences and needs generally and, specifically, from health and social care services.

BACKGROUND: Whilst internationally palliative care has a primary focus on service users who have cancer, there is growing evidence that those with non-cancer life-limiting conditions have similar palliative care needs. The literature has mainly been focused on independence, choice and control at an individual level, with wider influences on the maintenance or attainment of independence ignored.

METHOD: A participatory approach was used in 2003-2004, with both the researcher and a group of service users working together in all stages of the study. Twenty-five participants in receipt of support from an acute hospital, primary care, social services and a hospice took part. Face-to-face individual interviews and small discussion groups were conducted and data were analysed thematically.

FINDINGS: Eight different but interconnected themes were identified. Independence/dependence was an overarching theme, with negotiation between independence and dependence being evident across all themes. This theme and the influence of health and social care services on the experience of living with life-limiting conditions are the focus of this paper.

CONCLUSION: Palliative care and practitioners should focus on maximizing independence at both the individual and structural levels. How services for those with life-limiting conditions are provided and relationships with health and social care staff can directly impact on an individual's experience of independence, choice and control.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"