A phenomenological account of social sources, coping effects and relational role of social support in nursing among chronic patients with hepatitis

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Abstract

Social support plays an important role in the nursing of patients at a terminal stage. A literature review explored the influential link of social support in coping with chronic disease, but patients with chronic liver disease have not been studied in this context. The current study examined the lived experiences of social sources of social support, patients’ expectations and the role of social support. Furthermore, it explored the importance of support for patients, coping effect and whose support matters for nursing of terminal chronic liver disease patients. A total of 21 terminally ill patients with chronic liver disease were selected through an appropriate screening process. Subsequently, in-depth detailed interviews were conducted to gather experiences of the hepatitis patients. Researchers fulfilled all the ethical considerations during the process of data collection. Social support exerts multiple beneficial effects that help in coping with chronic diseases of terminally ill patients. It was found that patients with hepatitis expected emotional, instrumental and informational support from social relations. Social support was a source of emotional gratification and a buffer in psychological distress, and helped in enabling a peaceful death for patients with chronic diseases. Among all social sources of support, spousal and child support were the most important for patients.

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