Table of Contents
International Journal of Palliative Care
Volume 2015, Article ID 357827, 7 pages
Research Article

The Room as Metaphor: Next-of-Kin’s Experiences in End-of-Life Care

1Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
2Mälardalens University College, 721 23 Västerås, Sweden
3Haraldsplass University College, Bergen, Norway

Received 9 August 2015; Accepted 29 October 2015

Academic Editor: Moira O’Connor

Copyright © 2015 Carina Werkander Harstäde and Åsa Roxberg. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The “room” in end-of-life is a phenomenon that needs deeper understanding as it is a dimension that shows how health and suffering are shaped. Research on the concept of room was chosen as theoretical foundation in this study in order to reach a profound understanding of the next-of-kin’s “room” in end-of-life care. Lassenius’s hermeneutic interpretation in metaphorical language was used as an deductive-inductive approach to the empirical data. The data material comprised 33 interviews with next-of-kin about their experiences of end-of-life care when being close to a relative dying from a cancer disease. The analysis of the data formed four cases: the Standby, the Asylum, the Wall, and the Place. These cases lend their voices to the experiences of the next-of-kin in the study. The findings of this study explain and may well assist nurses to understand the experiences of being next-of-kin in end-of-life care as forming a room of rest from the suffering, a room of controlling the suffering, a room of hiding from the suffering, and a room of belonging.