Wished for and Avoided Conversations With Terminally Ill Individuals During Final Conversations

Death Stud. 2017 Mar;41(3):162-172. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2016.1236850. Epub 2016 Nov 15.


The current investigation examines retrospectively wished for and avoided conversations during the end of life with a deceased relational partner. Participants reported on conversations they wished they had engaged in and conversations that they intentionally avoided, as well as reasons why they did not engage in the conversations. Analyses revealed the following wished for and avoided conversations: negative relationship characteristics; death and dying; postdeath arrangements; and personal information. Furthermore, participants indicated the following reasons for not discussing the aforementioned topics during final conversations: emotional protection, relational differences, and condition of the dying. Theoretical and practical implications for end-of-life communication are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Communication*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Terminal Care
  • Terminally Ill / psychology*
  • Young Adult