The implicit soul: Factors between the representation of death and dehumanization of patients

Aurelio Castro, Ines Testoni, Adriano Zamperini, Lucia Ronconi, Laura Padmah Galantin, Augusto Caraceni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spiritual approaches in healthcare settings proved effective in reducing the negative outcomes of dehumanization processes impacting health professionals and patients. Although previous literature focused on explicit measures of spirituality, the present research explored the role of implicit components of spirituality and their effects on the humanization of patients in two healthcare contexts. Professionals from hospices and nursing homes completed an implicit task to assess whether the diverse representation of death as physical or spiritual led to perceive patients with more uniquely human traits. Results showed that only for hospice participants, implicit and explicit spirituality predicts more humanness attribution to patients. This article discusses palliative care models and death education as a resource for reducing dehumanization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Psychology Open
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • death
  • end-of-life
  • hospice
  • implicit measures
  • nursing
  • palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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