Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN


In the United States, some people find the discussion of death and dying a difficult topic to discuss. This difficulty has often delayed conversations about goals and wishes until very late in the healthcare journey. Delays come with a significant cost to both patients and the entire healthcare system. Palliative care is a special type of care meant to provide an extra layer of support to patients and families who are living with serious illness; however, the practice of such care encounters has many challenges for patients, families, physicians, and nurses. Home care nurses are instrumental in the delivery of palliative care and the initiation of conversations regarding quality of life but often feel uncertain of where to begin such conversations. Through the concepts of Patterson andZderad's Humanistic Nursing Theory, the relationship and dialogue between nurses and patients is illuminated. A 4-point Quality of Life Assessment Tool was developed in order to empower home care nurses to simply and skillfully begin an exploration of their patients' goals and wishes.


SC 11.MAN.2014.Oujiri.A