Volunteering in palliative care: religiosity, explicit representations of death and implicit representations of God between dehumanization and burnout

Author/s Ines Testoni, Stefano Falletti
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/2 Language Italian
Pages 16 P. 27-42 File size 201 KB
DOI 10.3280/PDS2016-002002
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In Italy, volunteering is a social activity whose importance is constantly growing. The research on volunteering in the field of palliative care is showing how this kind of intervention may strongly support families and professional caregivers. However, only a small number of studies has directly analyzed these informal caregivers who dedicate their time to dying persons and their relatives. This study aims at investigating psychological variables that are relevant in the voluntary activities of palliative care. A questionnaire was administered to 71 volunteers from important organizations in Northern Italy, which perform support activities in families, in daily care centers or hospices. The questionnaire assessed their death anxiety levels, representations of death, coping strategies, levels of burnout and stress, and dehumanization of patients. Furthermore, 52 volunteers completed an implicit association task aimed at assessing whether God was more strongly associated with Abstraction or with Reality.

Keywords: Volunteer, palliative care, representations of death, implicit image of God, dehumanization, burnout.

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Ines Testoni, Stefano Falletti, Il volontariato nelle cure palliative: religiosità, rappresentazioni esplicite della morte e implicite di Dio tra deumanizzazione e burnout in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 2/2016, pp 27-42, DOI: 10.3280/PDS2016-002002