Quality of life among persons with AIDS in a hospice setting: A qualitative study
Persons with AIDS (PWAs) approaching death face a number of problems that must be effectively managed in order to minimize suffering and to increase the quality of their remaining lives. In order to implement holistic care for PWAs approaching death, nurses and other health care providers need to gain insight into the dying experience of PWAs. This study used a qualitative approach based on grounded theory methodology to explore and to describe the perceptions of PWAs who resided in an AIDS-dedicated hospice. Participants were engaged in semi-structured interviews. Theoretical sampling resulted in a sample size of 10 residents. Interview transcripts were reduced, coded, and categorized in order to uncover emerging themes. Application of grounded theory techniques to the data identified a process model called Living while Dying of AIDS which described the work performed to improve the quality of their remaining lives. The process began with entering the hospice followed by adapting to the hospice. Quality of life concerns were related to physical functioning ability, relationships with family and significant others, and social and environment satisfaction. Successful outcomes strengthened their capability to work on emotional and spiritual well-being concerns during the final process stage called managing dying. Findings and interpretations were validated with caregivers and other members of the research team.
AIDS hospices can provide the support needed to promote quality of life among residents. Quality of life is enhanced when nurses and other care givers support PWAs' work-related activities as they are dying.