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Communication scholars have been building a foundation of information and creating a body of knowledge pertaining to the importance of effective family communication at the end of life [ 17 ]. Some of the authors have been working in this area for 20 years, while others are new scholars who represent the future directions for investigating communication at the end of life. The diversity of methodology underscores the importance of different questions and perspectives on the investigation of family communication at the end of life. Upon reflection, there are five major themes in this special issue exploring family communication at the end of life.

The first area focuses on the new trend for communities and individuals that want to take the mystery and fear out of death and dying through communication. Specifically, the authors examine the importance of and the approaches for beginning the conversation about death and dying earlier rather than later. The second and third articles discuss unique situations to begin the conversations of death and dying.

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Talking about death and dying in these safe and voluntary environments, rather than in the midst of a terminal illness situation, may help to alleviate fear of death and normalize communication at the end of life. The second theme of this special issue focuses upon who is making decisions and how they are made at the end of life. The third theme highlights how age and diseases that come with getting older requires changes in how families communicate at the end of life.

This article also acknowledges the challenges that are inherent when faced with a loved one with dementia at the end of life and offers suggestions for successful ways to communicate with them. The fourth theme includes four articles that underscore the importance of good i.

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All participants involved must become a cohesive team focused on managing a number of relevant issues at the end of life. The crux of this article acknowledges the stress and demands put upon the family caregiver s and suggests the importance of effective communication for improving the overall welfare of family members and by doing so it improves the circumstances for the terminally ill as well.

This article provides pragmatic communication solutions and suggestions to facilitate useful and mindful end of life communication between and among family members and healthcare providers. The authors also provide suggestions on how to improve the quality of these experiences. The article highlights the role of communication for promising social support, prioritizing family, and managing the honesty of the situation.

The communication at the end of life and following the death in these circumstances is different but still important for the individual experiencing the loss and grief. Family members ultimately must go on living following the death, and in that process they recall and reflect on their final conversations and interactions experienced during the end of life journey for months and even years [ 1 ].

Therefore, communication at the end of life potentially has the greatest and longest-lasting impact on family members. This research exploring communication at the end of life is especially relevant because every person experiences the death and loss of loved ones and ultimately faces the reality of their own death [ 10 ].

When the terminally ill and their loved ones most often their biological, legal, or chosen family members have the opportunity and the openness to freely talk about what is on their minds and hearts at the end of life, the end result is often the relief of stress, peaceful interactions, and greater readiness for the impending outcome [ 9 ]. Still, such talks are not without their challenges [ 3 ]. In addition, communication at the end of life between the terminally ill and family members results in more satisfying care and an increased sense of well-being at the end of life for the dying [ 7 ].

True regret comes from what is not communicated at the end of life. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Anthropological Perspectives on Dying and End-of-Life Care

Journal List Behav Sci Basel v. Behav Sci Basel. Published online Jul Maureen P. Scott Hunter, Academic Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Jul 9; Accepted Jul Abstract People often feel awkward and ill at ease when faced with the opportunity for communication at the end of life, thus the overall theme for the articles in this special issue is the creation of more awareness and knowledge regarding the depth, breadth, and importance of current research exploring family communication at the end of life.

Keywords: communication, family, end of life, death and dying, palliative care, healthcare. Conflicts of Interest The author declares no conflict of interest. References 1.

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Keeley M. Bullock K.

The influence on culture on end-of-life decision making. Work End-Life Palliat. Health Commun. Generous M. Topics avoided and neglected with terminally ill loved ones at the end of life. Death Stud. Do older Korean immigrants engage in end-of-life communication? Ragan S. Kubler-Ross E. On Death and Dying.

Living with Death and Dying. Creating and validating the final conversations FCs scale: A measure of end-of-life relational communication with terminally ill loved ones. Final conversations phase II: Children and everyday communication. Loss Trauma.

End-of-life care - Wikipedia

Carr D. This is a reading-heavy course. Students will be required to read the assigned texts and write response notes prior to each session. The majority of sessions will have a seminar structure in which the readings will be collectively discussed in relation to the questions and comments raised in the response notes.

Active participation in the discussions is encouraged. Tentatively, the course will include a film screening, guest lecture and excursion. During the final session students will discuss their interview reports. The final assessment is a paper on a course-related topic that engages a selection of course readings.


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Increase interview skills and qualitatively analyse an interview in relation to existing academic literature;. Challenge taken for granted positions on end-of-life care by assessing their socio-cultural dimensions;. Develop critical thinking and writing skills that allow you to engage in social scientific discussions;. Session 1: 9 okt. Kaufman, Sharon Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lemos Dekker, Natashe Norwood, Frances. Oueslati, Roukayya. Doris Gray and Nadia Sonneveld eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;. Prince, Ruth. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell;. Stonington, Scott. The assessment methods will look as follows The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the Class :. Response notes should be submitted through blackboard at least 12 hours before the start of the session. Submitting more than 5 response notes is allowed lowest score s will be dropped ;.

Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard page one weeks prior to the start of the course. Enrolling in this course is possible from Monday the 19th of August up to and including Thursday the 5th of September until hrs.


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  • The registration link and further information will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.