A experiência de perda e o processo de luto
: o papel de uma Unidade de Cuidados Paliativos

  • Andreia Dias Leal (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The main aim of the present study is to understand the experience of loss of a significant person and its repercussions on the bereaved’s life, considering what is intrinsic in a mourning process and the concomitant role of a professional team of Palliative Care. This study seeks to explore the familiar, personal and social support dimensions as well as the impact and the repercussions of lived experience. This research used a qualitative approach, using semi-structured interviews with six participants, who accompanied the relative until death. The procedures for qualitative analysis were performed in accordance with the principles of the grounded theory. We found a significant change over the entire process in the different dimensions mentioned above. The impact of disease diagnosis increased pain and suffering in the patient and in the relative, with repercussions in daily life. The perception of disability and/or fear to take care of a relative with advanced, progressive and incurable disease emerged from our results. However, it is clear that the reference to a palliative care team made the participants feel more confident in the care and also feel that there is a sense of humanism, of dignity and respect which became leverage in an adaptive grieving process. The efficiency in providing care, felt mostly after reference to palliative care, and the religious beliefs were the most visible coping strategies in this investigation. The death of a relative is regarded as of great impact on the lives of participants. There is a total change in terms of life plans, routines and personal identity of the participants, where there is a need to adapt to the world without the loved one. However, participants reported that the psychological support throughout this process has been a major contribution to more successfully manage the grieving process.
Date of Award2012
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorElisa Veiga (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Psicologia

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