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Michael Brennan
This article explores the public dying of journalist, writer, provocateur, public intellectual, and renowned atheist, Christopher Hitchens. It does so primarily through an analysis of television interviews given by Hitchens following his diagnosis with esophageal cancer in June 2010. Four key themes are identified as emerging from analysis of the interviews: (a) Hitchens' explicit sense of mission in challenging myths and superstitions surrounding cancer, dying, and death; (b) the personal experience of terminal illness and dying and the particular way (or style of dying) by which it is approached; (c) issues of regret and a life well lived; and (d) questions surrounding religion, the afterlife, and possibility of deathbed conversion...
June 2018: Omega
Fatemeh Esnaashari, Flor Rezaei Kargar
The aim of this research was to determine the relation between death attitude and distress tolerance and aggression and anger. For this, 135 subjects among 7,535 professional and specialist members of the Iran National Library were selected using convenience sampling method. They replied to Death Attitudes Profile-Revised, distress tolerance questionnaire, and aggression questionnaire. The results showed that the attitudes of approach acceptance, neutral acceptance, and escape acceptance had positive relation to distress tolerance and negative relation to aggression and anger while the attitudes of fear of death and death avoidance had negative relation to distress tolerance and positive relation to aggression and anger...
June 2018: Omega
James D Griffith, Muath Gassem, Christian L Hart, Lea T Adams, Rikki Sargent
The literature lacks a consistent pattern on the relationship between attitudes toward death and dying across occupations and recreational pursuits. The present cross-sectional study categorized a group of individuals engaging in a high-risk recreational activity (i.e., skydivers) on the basis of experience and classified them into student, intermediate, and experts. There were more negative attitudes of death and dying among student skydivers compared with more experienced skydivers. It was also found that expert skydivers had more negative attitudes toward death and dying on some of the measures compared with the intermediate level experienced skydivers...
June 2018: Omega
Kate A Morrissey Stahl, Kyle L Bower, Desiree M Seponski, Denise C Lewis, Andrea L Farnham, Yasemin Cava-Tadik
Sexuality and intimacy, including contact, tenderness, and love, are important at every life stage. Intimate expression is especially vital at the end of life, when relationships with loved ones are time limited. Unfortunately, care providers often ignore the potential need for sexual expression, especially at the end of life. In this article, we consider current research on sexuality and end-of-life care and situate these two fields in an ecological framework. We explore how end-of-life sexuality and intimacy can be supported by practitioners in multiple nested contexts and provide suggestions for theoretically-driven interventions...
May 2018: Omega
Irene Searles McClatchey
Little is known about the experiences of widowed men with dependent children. With such limited knowledge it is not clear how mental health professionals can assist this population. In this qualitative case study the researcher describes the experiences of ten widowed fathers from the Southeastern United States as they struggle with their new parenting responsibilities after the death of their wives and their children's mothers. The researcher used an inductive constant comparative method to reveal themes. The interview data revealed three themes: Ways to Cope, Concerns, and Newfound Respect...
March 2018: Omega
Anthony Bonavita, Oksana Yakushko, Melissa L Morgan Consoli, Steve Jacobsen, Rev Laura L Mancuso
The study examines the perceptions of interfaith spiritual care, received through a volunteer hospice organization, by 10 individuals facing death and dying. Qualitative methodology based on the Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used to collect and analyze the data. Four superordinate themes reflected meanings ascribed to spirituality and spiritual care in facing end of life: Vital Role of Spirituality in the End-of-Life Care, Definitions and Parameters of Spirituality and Interfaith Spiritual Care, Distinct Aspects of Interfaith Spiritual Care, and Unmet Spiritual Needs...
March 2018: Omega
Daniel Lowrie, Robin Ray, David Plummer, Matthew Yau
This narrative review explores the literature regarding the drama of dying from several academic perspectives. Three key themes were identified including "The impact of blurred boundaries on roles and transitions," "The orchestration of death and dying through time," and "Contemporary dying and new machinery of control." This review reveals the manner in which tightly scripted dying roles serve the needs of the living to a greater extent than those of the dying, by ensuring the depiction of both dying and death as phenomena which have been brought under the control of the living, thereby countering death anxiety...
March 2018: Omega
Mustafa Volkan Kavas
Personal narratives are assumed to be primary sources of the essential meaning of lived experiences of dying. In this study, I analyzed the personal diary of Miraç Fidan, a terminally ill adolescent with advanced cancer who kept a diary until her death at the age of 15. Miraç's Diary, also published as a book, was subjected to hermeneutic phenomenological narrative analysis. Inferences were drawn regarding the following basic elements: (a) The dynamics in which Miraç lived and (2) her perceptions of herself, her immediate environment, and her experiences...
February 2018: Omega
Anna S Bratt, Ulf Stenström, Mikael Rennemark
Losing a child or a spouse is described as the worst of experiences. However, it is not known whether older adults bereaved of a child, spouse, or both child and spouse experience these losses as among the most important negative events in their lifetime. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the 1,437 older adults bereaved of a child, spouse, or both included in the southern part of the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care mentioned these losses when asked about their three most important negative life events...
February 2018: Omega
Erica H Sirrine, Alison Salloum, Roger Boothroyd
This study examined the relationship between continuing bonds (CBs) among 50 bereaved youth (ages 11-17) and their bereaved adult caregivers, and predictors of CBs among youth. Results indicated there was not a significant relationship between caregiver CB and youth CB. However, significant relationships were found between youth bereavement symptomatology, their relationship to the deceased, and youth CB. Specifically, youth with higher levels of symptomatology and those who lost an immediate family member were more likely to maintain CBs...
February 2018: Omega
Amy R Murrell, Ryeshia Jackson, Ethan G Lester, Teresa Hulsey
Losing a parent prior to age 18 years can have life-long implications. The challenges of emerging adulthood may be even more difficult for parentally bereaved college students, and studying their coping responses is crucial for designing campus services and therapy interventions. This study examined the relationships between bereavement-related distress, experiential avoidance (EA), values, and resilience. Findings indicated that EA and low importance of values were correlated with bereavement difficulties, with EA accounting for 26% of the variance in the bereavement distress measure...
February 2018: Omega
Emily M Lund, Michael R Nadorff, Katie B Thomas, Kate Galbraith
We examined the contribution of disability status to suicidality when accounting for depression and sociodemographic risk factors in 438 American adults, 82 (18.7%) of whom identified as having disabilities. Participants with disabilities had significantly higher depression scores and were more likely to be unemployed and unpartnered, all of which were also associated with increased suicidality. However, disability remained a significant predictor of suicidality even when depression and sociodemographic risk factors were accounted for in a linear regression...
January 1, 2018: Omega
Michael Uv Westerlund
This study examined Swedish suicide bereaved individuals' use of different resources in their grief work and how they value these resources. The material consisted of a web-based survey, which was analyzed with quantitative methods. The results showed that the psychosocial ill-health was severe among the suicide bereaved participants and that a majority used digital resources in their grief work. The propensity to engage in online support groups or memorial websites was not predicted by the severity of psychosocial consequences following the suicide...
January 1, 2018: Omega
Lauren Miller-Lewis, Jennifer Tieman, Deb Rawlings, Deborah Parker, Christine Sanderson
A Massive Open Online Course, Dying2Learn, was designed to foster community death conversations and strengthen community awareness of palliative care and death as a normal process. This exploratory study used a pre-post prospective design to determine if participation in Dying2Learn and exposure to online conversations about death and dying resulted in any significant influence on death competence in 134 participants who completed the Coping-with-Death-Scale both at the beginning and end of the course in 2016...
January 1, 2018: Omega
Nick J Gerrish, Susan Bailey
This study explored bereaved mothers' responses to the death of a child from cancer, with a focus on identifying adaptive and complicated grief reactions. To understand the unique meaning of their loss, in-depth interviews were conducted with 13 mothers at two time points. Interpretative phenomenological analysis-guided by meaning-making theories of loss-revealed five master categories: the perceptions of the child's life with cancer and death from the disease, changed self-identity, coping style, developing an ongoing relationship to the deceased child, and the postdeath social environment...
January 1, 2018: Omega
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