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‘Just gripping my heart and squeezing’: naming and explaining the emotional experience of receiving bad news in the paediatric oncology setting

Nelson, Mia, Kelly, Daniel M., McAndrew, Rachel and Smith, Pam 2017. ‘Just gripping my heart and squeezing’: naming and explaining the emotional experience of receiving bad news in the paediatric oncology setting. Patient Education and Counseling 100 (9) , pp. 1751-1757. 10.1016/j.pec.2017.03.028

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Abstract

Objective To explore recipients’ perspectives on the range and origins of their emotional experiences during their ‘bad news’ consultations. Methods Participants were four bereaved families of children who had changed from active treatment to palliative care in paediatric oncology. Data was collected using emotional touchpoint storytelling. The names (descriptors) given to the emotional experiences were linguistically classified. Explanations of their perceived origins were examined using applied thematic analysis. Results 26 descriptors were given, relating to bodily sensations, affective states, evaluations and cognitive conditions. Three themes were identified in the origins of these experiences – ‘becoming aware’, ‘the changes’ and ‘being in this situation’. Parents described strong emotional displays during the consultation including physical collapse. These related to the internal process of ‘becoming aware’. Three descriptors were given as originating from the clinicians and their delivery of the news – ‘supported’, ‘included’, ‘trusting’. Conclusions Recipients perceive their emotional experiences as mainly originating from the news itself, and perceived consequences of it, rather than its delivery. Strong emotional reactions during the interaction are not necessarily an indicator of ineffectual delivery. Practice Implications Findings offer a thematic framing that may support and deepen practitioners’ understanding of recipients’ emotional reactions during bad news consultations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0738-3991
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 28 March 2017
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2018 14:45
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/100721

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