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Psychological processes of suffering of palliative care patients in Malaysia: a thematic analysis


Although suffering in palliative care has received increasing attention over the past decade, the psychological processes that underpin suffering remain relatively unexplored.

Objective To understand the psychological processes involved in the experiencing of suffering at the end phase of life.

Methods Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 palliative care inpatients from an academic medical centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The transcripts were thematically analysed with NVIVO9.

Results 5 themes of psychological processes of suffering were generated: (1) perceptions, (2) cognitive appraisals, (3) hope and the struggles with acceptance, (4) emotions and (5) clinging. A model of suffering formation was constructed.

Conclusion The findings may inform the development of mechanism-based interventions in the palliation of suffering.

  • Suffering
  • Palliative Care
  • Psychosocial Care
  • Thematic Analysis
  • Malaysia

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