2013 研究助成 Research Grant Program  /  共同研究助成A2  
(Grant Number)
(Project Title)
Using Life Reviews to Preserve the Narratives of Hansen's Disease Survivors and Improve Nurses' End-of-life Care Skills
Makiko Kondo
Graduate School of Health Sciences, Okayama University
(Grant Amount)
企画書・概要 (Abstract of Project Proposal)


 In Japan, the average age of Hansen's disease survivors is 82.1 years, and approximately 141 of these survivors die every year. Almost all these survivors are likely to die within 5-10 years from 2013. Their aging has led to unprecedented problems such as the following: (1) sanatoriums for Hansen's disease have to care for many succumbing to death in a short period of time, (2) nurses at these sanatoriums must take on the role of surrogate family to these survivors because these survivors have severed relations with their families, and (3) aging survivors have now only little chance for leaving their history as a whole while still alive, but they do not have the means to do so. In this project, in order to provide a solution to these problems, we conducted life reviews of Hansen's disease survivors, as told to a nurse at a sanatorium, to accomplish three objectives: (1) validating the effect of life reviews in end-of-life care, (2) conceptualizing the universal meaning of life in persons with Hansen's disease, and (3) publishing a book of narratives based on the life reviews of Hansen's disease survivors. The first two objectives aid in the realization of end-of-life care that values the dignity of Hansen's disease survivors and promote reconstruction of meaning of life and catharsis in these survivors by narrating their life as a subjective experience to a good listener. The second and third objectives help to preserve their life history. Both the objectives can be viewed as a form of support for survivors of Hansen's disease who have suffered much discrimination and many hardships throughout their lives at the final, yet important, stage of their lives.

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