Social Relationships and Their Role in the Consideration to Hasten Death

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Purpose: This study explored the quality and functioning of terminally ill elders’ social relationships and their impact on elders’ consideration to hasten death. Design and Methods: In-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 96 terminally ill elders. Logistic regression was used to determine whether aspects of social relationships significantly predicted the consideration to hasten death. The qualitative data was content analyzed to identify main themes and patterns. Results: Logistic regression revealed that conflictual social support was a significant predictor of the consideration to hasten death. Qualitative data provided insight into findings that responsibilities to loved ones or direct verbal attempts did not deter elders’ consideration to hasten death. Implications: This research highlights the importance of quality social support in elders’ consideration to hasten death and exhibits the need for practitioners to assess thoroughly the quality of elder–caregiver relations.

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