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Synnes O. Narratives of nostalgia in the face of death: The importance of lighter stories of the past in palliative care. J Aging Stud. 2015; 34:169-176

Why use storytelling in palliative care? ehospice UK. 2016. (accessed 16 March 2022)

Storytelling in palliative care

02 April 2022
Volume 27 · Issue 4

People in the palliative and end-of-life phase undergo numerous and varying experiences along their life trajectory. It is important that some of these experiences are expressed as often as possible. There could be a number of ways that healthcare professionals and community nurses can facilitate this process, particularly when care is delivered in the home setting. Storytelling plays a unique part in the provision of palliative care. This process enables patients to tell their story while listening to others', which can act as a means of support and assist patients in coming to terms with their situation or terminal condition. While telling their story, there is also the opportunity to reflect and evaluate their situation, with a possible benefit to overall wellbeing, leading to enhanced quality of life. Storytelling has the potential to preserve self-identity (Youell and Ward, 2016) and boosts confidence, allowing people to connect with others. Self-identity comes from feelings of being valued, being acknowledged as a person first and then as a patient. The process of storytelling affords the teller a sense of autonomy, as they are in control of what they share.

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