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Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP

Print version ISSN 0080-6234


SILES GONZALEZ, José  and  SOLANO RUIZ, Maria del Carmen. The cultural history of palliative care in primitive societies: an integrative review. Rev. esc. enferm. USP [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.4, pp.1015-1022. ISSN 0080-6234.

The objective of this study is to describe the evolution of palliative care in order to reflect on the possibility of its origin in primitive cultures and their relationship with the beginnings of the cult of the dead. It describes the change in the symbolic structures and social interactions involved in palliative care during prehistory: functional unit, functional framework and functional element. The theoretical framework is based on cultural history, the dialectical structural model and symbolic interactionism. Categorization techniques, cultural history and dialectic structuralism analyses were performed. Palliative care existed in primitive societies, mostly associated with the rites of passage with a high symbolic content. The social structures - functional unit, functional framework and functional element - are the pillars that supported palliative care in prehistory societies.

Keywords : Palliative care; Culture; History of nursing.

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