“You only have one chance to get it right”: A qualitative study of relatives’ experiences of caring at home for a family member with terminal cancer

Totman, J. et al. ‘You only have one chance to get it right’. Palliative Medicine Online – 29 January 2015


Participants’ experiences of being a caregiver and of professional support were highly varied. The analysis generated 15 themes which were organised into a framework based on Yalom’s four “existential conditions”: responsibility (e.g., “being the linchpin of care,” “you only have one chance to get it right”), isolation (e.g., “being on my own,” “being held in mind”), death (e.g., “knowing but not knowing”) and meaningfulness (e.g., “giving something back,” “acceptance and gratitude”). Healthcare professionals were perceived as influential in both helping and hindering relatives in meeting the challenges they faced.

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