Dealing with ethical and existential issues at end of life through co-creation

Jessica Hemberg, Elisabeth Bergdahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Background: In research on co-creation innursing, a caring manner can be used to create opportunities for the patient toreach vital goals and thereby increase the patient’s quality of life inpalliative home care. This can be described as an ethical cornerstone and thegoal of palliative care. Nurses must be extra sensitive to patients’ and theirrelatives’ needs with regards to ethical and existential issues and situationsin home care encounters, especially at the end of life. 

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore nurses’ experiences of dealing withethical and existential issues through co-creation at end of life in palliativehome care.


Research design,participants, and research context: The material consisted oftexts from interviews with twelve nurses in a home care context. Ahermeneutical approach was used and the method was inspired by a thematicanalysis.


Ethical considerations: Informed consent was soughtfrom the participants regarding study participation and the storage andhandling of data for research purposes. Ethical permission to conduct the studywas given by the organizations where the participants worked.


Findings: A main theme and foursub-themes emerged. The maintheme was “Deep co-creative relationships are needed to manage ethical andexistential issues at end of life”. A model was created to display the findingsand relations between ethical issues and situations and the need for a deeptrustful caring relationship to solve problems in palliative home care. 


Discussion: Together, the themes can be consideredas a tool for learning and dealing with ethical and existential issues at theend of life in home care. The themes can also be seen as a part of nurses’ethical competence within thiscontext.


Conclusion: The quality of life at the end of life can be improvedthrough co-creation, despite difficult ethical and existential issues. Futureresearch should focus on co-creation from the patients’ perspective.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1–19
JournalNursing Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Co-creation, end-of-life care, ethical issues, exi

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