Essay Example Comprising the Interview with a Terminally-Ill Patient

Published: 2022-04-15
Essay Example Comprising the Interview with a Terminally-Ill Patient
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Healthcare
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1414 words
12 min read

1. Do you perceive your condition as unfair?

No, even though it is not easy because you struggle every other day to see your relatives getting discouraged about one's condition. My daughter is struggling to come to terms with my condition and was admitted with depression last month. We depend on support groups to help not only myself but also my relatives to come to terms with my illness, accept and are prepared in case I lose my life today. I prepare myself too because I do not know what the future brings to the table. I might be alive or dead. That is why I seek reconciliation and peace with fellow man, God and ensure that my businesses are complete and even if I left today, I leave a clean man.

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2. Do you at some point find your condition heart-breaking to yourself and your entire family?

Grieving is part and parcel of life and impacts on people from all walks of life and cultures (Meilaender, 2004). People can grief when they are going through difficult times like loss of a loved one, an animal, a terminal illness like me or even end of a close relationship. So what I am going through is actually what many human beings go through, and it is a path that every human being must pass through. My entire family is going through a hard time having to see me go through all those admissions, medication and especially the chemotherapy CITATION Mei04 \l 2057 (Meilaender, 2004). Even though it is a difficult time, they have stuck together and supported me all through this tough journey.

3. Do you have any fears about tomorrow?

Yes, I have many fears about tomorrow, especially when I think about my three-year-old girl. If I ever die today, my fears are that she will never remember me. How will she live without both her parents? I might survive this or die, and believe me, at some point, I experience loneliness, anxiety, fear, and unrest. Also, I wonder if I will instil fear and worry in the people I will be leaving behind once I am permanently gone (Puchalski, 2001).

4. How are you and your family coping up with these fears and anxiety when you think about such an incident

During this time, nurses are very accommodating. From the time I started attending therapy and during my admissions, the nurses have always stood by me. My nurse has always involved my family and friends in my progress. Most of my relatives are also eager to find peace and reconciliation. Support is important because it has helped me and my family to work through the process of grieving so as to make sense of what has occurred, be encouraged through the pain we are going through and be able to cope, adjust to a new life and identity CITATION Jul18 \l 2057 (Axelrod, 2018). These have made sure that we have been given enough time to come to terms with our pain and emotions.

5. In reference to your current situation, name some of your spiritual needs

Grieving people need proper support to cope with a loss because it helps the bereaved people work through the process of grieving so as to make sense of what has occurred, be encouraged through the pain they are going through and be able to cope, adjust to a new life and identity CITATION Chr01 \l 2057 (Puchalski, 2001). Secondly, these people need to be given enough time to come to terms with their pain and emotions. The support needs to ensure that those suffering do not pressure themselves to meet the demands of their environment and on the other hand, the environment needs to be patient with the suffering and should not pressure them to meet their expectations. The society should understand and give them time to experience the pain, exhibit their emotions and heal which will come later at their own time. Support helps the terminally ill people understand that other people understand what is going on and they are able to share their story so that they can get better CITATION Jul18 \l 2057 (Axelrod, 2018).

Part 2: The experience when conducting the interview

The interview went well because I decided to use interviews method of collecting data. Depth method of data collection is basically a one on one encounter with the respondent. Using this tool, I was able to make use of both unstructured and semi-structured questions to guide the discussion which in most cases could be led out of topic because the patient could get emotional at times. With this strategy, I was able to uncover deep-seated emotions in the patient, give motivations and attitudes that helped propel this interview to the next step of collecting quality data. After establishing a Rapport with the patient, the interview started very well and quality information was gathered.

Challenges and how to address them in future

This issue is very sensitive, and thus, there were instances when the patient gave evasive or misleading answers especially when I asked him directly about death. To avoid this in future I need an immense training on carrying out in-depth interviews with most of them involved very sensitive matters. For instance, in this case, when asking about how a patient felt, his fears and concerns knowing that he might either live or die, I had to restructure my question. The sensitivity of the matter forced me to avoid appearing superior and condescending. I was also keen to use easy and familiar words and all questions had to be put in an indirect and informative manner. Also, all questions were structured to avoid short answers like yes or no. In future, I will put these questions to the respondent in a way that will encourage a discussion, so that the interviewer understands exactly what the needs of these patients are. The best asset I had was to create an atmosphere which encouraged the respondents to feel free and share their experiences but was also challenging to ensure that the patient did not get out of topic. The entire process was immensely time-consuming, especially to the researcher.

In-depth interviews are tools that I can use to assist me to identify the needs of the patients because, before the interviews, one establishes a rapport with participants so that they can be comfortable to share their experiences and give insightful responses especially in this topic which is highly sensitive. In-depth interviews allow the interviewer to ask to follow up questions, probing for more information and generate more questions which can lead to a rich understanding of the topic in question. During in-depth one-on-one interviews, the interviewer can note changes of tone and focus on body language to tell the validity of the responses being given by the respondent. Also, using this method allows the interviewer to choose quality respondent for the interview. When dealing with such patients using this tool, distractions are rare like they are in focus groups and therefore, the two people focus on what brought them together.

I discovered that illness and stress amplified the spiritual concerns and needs of the patient I interviewed. This is because, all through my interview with the respondent, I majored on the spiritual needs of this patient, their emotions, and support. I found out that they are grieving, and are afraid of what will happen to them and their families in future. They would like to stay alive, but they can do nothing to better their current situation. They are also in need of a support system which will help them and their families to come to terms with what is taking place in their lives, they seek reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace. Without a proper support system, they find themselves in anger, regret, loneliness, anxiety, fear, and unrest (Meilaender, 2004). Form the last question I asked this respondent, I noted that he majored on support systems. This tells that they are very important. Also, these people ask themselves various questions which can barely be answered. For example, they wonder what will happen to their children, their parents, and even their spouses once they are gone.


Axelrod, J. (2018, March 26th). PsychCentral. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from (2017). Retrieved March 27, 2018, from

Meilaender, G. (2004). Bioethics: A primer for Christians. NewYork: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Puchalski, C. (2001). The Role of Spirituality in Healthcare. Bayl Medical Center, 352-357.

Shots: health news from NPR. (2014, January 10). Retrieved March 27, 2018, from

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