Meanings of Dying at Home for Chinese Patients in Taiwan With Terminal Cancer: A LITERATURE REVIEW


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Abstract

To maintain dignity, patients with terminal cancer must be able to do things in their own way, to make their own decisions, and to preside over their own dying. Among the tasks considered essential for patients with terminal cancer is deciding where they prefer to die. The actual place of death has been recognized in hospice care as indicating quality of care. Approximately two-thirds of patients with cancer, when asked about the preferred place of death, say they wish to die in their own homes. Patients with terminal cancer dying at home may find physical and emotional comfort there. Home is a place where people may feel safety and a sense of belonging. In dying at home, patients with terminal cancer also may have a greater chance to control their environment, more autonomy and privacy, and a sense of normality. In this article, special cultural meaning of dying at home for the Chinese patient and the family is reviewed. It is essential for health care professionals to understand Chinese cultural beliefs and values related to dying at home in order to provide culturally sensitive care for Chinese dying patients and their families and to enhance their sense of control over the unknown process of dying.

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