Telling the Truth of the Illness: Perspectives of older persons who experienced with caring the end-of-life person
Keywords:Truth telling, older person, end of life, qualitative research
Introduction: Telling the truth regarding the illness is crucial for healthcare professionals and end-of-life patients.
Research objective: To describe perspectives on meaning and need of telling the truth regarding the illness among older persons who experienced with caring at end-of-life care.
Research methodology: This was a qualitative study. The informants were fifteen older persons selected by using purposive and snowball sampling. Data were collected using in-depth interviews. Content analysis were used to analyze data.
Research findings: Meanings of telling the truth regarding illness were identified in three themes as follows: 1) telling data with no hiding; 2) giving data that can help patients to prepare their life; and 3) telling frustrated data but need to be accepted. It was found that most informants preferred someone to tell them the truth with no hiding for two reasons, including 1) preparing for acceptance; and 2) planning their lives and doing what they want to do. The characteristics of telling the truth were: 1) informing with understanding and encouraging; 2) focusing mainly on patient's condition; 3) informing directly; 4) informing indirectly and gradually; 5) informing the fact to those who were ready; and 6) informing periodically, not at the last moment. Some informants did not want the truth regarding the illness to be told due to two reasons as follows: 1) fearing of knowing the truth, and 2) knowing can cause suffering.
Conclusions: Telling the truth regarding the illness to the end-of-life older person is very important. It affects the acceptance and the plan of the older person’s end of life.
Recommendations: Healthcare professionals who involve in telling the truth regarding the illness to the older persons should have good communication techniques, focusing on their needs, and understanding the aging changes, both physically and mentally, at their end of lives.
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