Conversations That Matter: Patient Perspectives on Conversations at End-of-Life
The introduction of new legislation in 2016 that allows for medical assistance in dying (MAID) has created a need for patient-centred research that seeks to understand patient needs at end-of-life. More specifically, how do patients want conversations about end-of-life care or options at end-of-life to go? This research employed the Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis methodology to gain a deep understanding of the lived experience and gain insight that will help medical professionals and policymakers develop procedures that maintain a patient focus. Through five in-depth semi-structured interviews, it became apparent that patients prefer conversations with physicians that are truthful, maintain a sense of familiarity, are rooted in humanity, and that provide comfort. When it comes to talking about MAID, patients prefer conversations that are “straight up” and take place at a time prior to any suffering or loss of dignity. Perhaps most importantly, this research was able to highlight that while non-terminally ill people may fear death, dying people only fear what they could consider to be a “bad death.” This study provides insight into patient need so that future training or learning resources are developed in a way to address and highlight what patients want. This study also demonstrates how marketing and consumer researchers can play an important role in healthcare and health policy research.
End-of-life care, palliative care, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, health communication, health policy
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Edwards School of Business