Competing Discourses Surrounding Primary Caregivers Of Hospice Patients
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The aging of the baby boomer generation has resulted in dynamic growth in end-of-life care. In the year 2030, 22% of Americans will be over the age of 65. Given this projection and the lack of communication research based practices for end-of life care, this study is a contribution that helps facilitate the layperson and health care professional's awareness of end-of-life communication. The researcher adopted relational dialectical theory to examine the discourse of twenty primary caregivers of hospice patients. The research questions guiding the study were what competing discourses do primary caregivers experience during end-of-life care and how do caregivers communicatively negotiate the competing discourses they experience? The analysis of the in-depth interviews revealed five major competing discourses. End-of-life communication is messy and themes are intertwined. Generally, during the pre-hospice period the competing discourse of care versus cure was found. During hospice care competing discourses of prolong life versus end life, open versus hidden, and theodicy were found. During the bereavement period the move on versus don't move on discourse was found.