Death preparedness: a concept analysis

R. McLeod-Sordjan, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

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Abstract

AimTo report analysis of the concept death preparedness in the context of end-of-life shared decisions and communication. BackgroundForty percent of older people require decision-making and communication in the final days of life. Elaborate defence mechanisms have yielded a public consciousness that no longer passively views death acceptance, but instead has a defensive orientation of preparedness. The term death preparedness' depicts this death attitude. DesignConcept analysis. Data sourcesData were collected over 3months in 2013. A series of searches of scholarly peer-reviewed literature published in English were conducted of multiple databases. Specific keywords included such phrases as: death acceptance, death avoidance, death rejection, death preparedness, resolution of life, breaking bad news and readiness to die. MethodsWalker and Avant's method was chosen as a deductive method to distinguish between the defining attributes of death preparedness and its relevant attributes. ResultsDeath preparedness involves a transition of facilitated communication with a healthcare provider that leads to awareness and/or acceptance of end of life, as evidenced by an implementation of a plan. An appraisal of attitudes towards death and one's mortality precedes the concept, followed by an improved quality of death and dignity at end of life. ConclusionThe concept of death preparedness in the process of dying should be the focus of research to explore areas to improve advanced directive planning and acceptance of palliation for chronic health conditions.