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Tania Cristina Schäfer Vasques Valéria Lerch Lunardi Priscila Arruda da Silva Liziani Iturriet Avila Rosemary Silva da Silveira Karen Knopp de Carvalho About the authors


To understand how the nursing team workers perceive themselves in the complex interrelationship in the care provided to the ill individual and their family member who acts as carer in the death/dying process. This qualitative research was conducted in a university hospital between March and June 2016 and inspired by the Leininger methodology. A total of 24 family members who were carers and 47 nursing team workers as general informants, 18 of which were key informants. Data collection was performed through semistructured interviews, whose focus was the self-perception of the team regarding the aforementioned process, contemplating the obstacles and the complexity of these interrelationships in the hospital setting. Through an analysis based on Edgar Morin’s theoretical framework of complexity, the work overload, the lack of competence on the part of the professional, and the lack of institutional support stand out as the main obstacles. Regarding the complexity of the relationships, questions related to the professional competence regarding the care, the needs of the family, the appreciation of the workers and its repercussion to the interrelationship with the ill individual and their relative that acts as carer stand out. We believe this study can cause the nursing professional to reflect upon and assess their daily practices in relation to the care provided to the individuals in their death/dying process and to their relatives that act as carers.

death; terminally-ill individuals; nursing; interrelationship; family

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Escola Politécnica de Saúde Joaquim Venâncio Avenida Brasil, 4.365, 21040-360 Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brasil, Tel.: (55 21) 3865-9850/9853, Fax: (55 21) 2560-8279 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil