Patients receiving palliative care and their experiences of encounters with healthcare professionals

Elina Haavisto , Sofia Eriksson, Tricia Cleland Silva, Jaana-Maija Koivisto, Katariina Kausamo, Anu Soikkeli-Jalonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The study aimed to explore experiences of encounters with health care professionals among patients receiving palliative cancer care in specialist palliative care inpatient units. A qualitative explorative study design was conducted in a specialist palliative care inpatient setting. Data collection was implemented using semi-structured individual interviews (20 palliative care cancer patients) and analysed with inductive content analysis. Palliative care patients experienced both meaningful and disrespectful encounters with healthcare professionals. The meaningful encounters encompassed authentic and supportive experiences, while the disrespectful encounters included indifferent and inadequate experiences. Caring for a patient receiving palliative care requires care beyond tending to a patient’s physical needs. Patients should be encountered holistically and as equal human beings without highlighting their roles as patients. The healthcare professionals and the organisations should also acknowledge the importance of time and effort spent for encounters and conversations with the patients instead of concentrating resources mainly on physical care.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalOMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying
Publication statusPublished - 02.03.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 314,1 Health care sciences
  • palliative care
  • end-of-life
  • encounter
  • hospital care
  • patient
  • cancer


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