Advanced cancer patients and their carers stories: a qualitative study on the psychologists inner life - Literature regarding the care of terminally ill patients at the end of life underlines the difficult experience of caring both by physicians and nurses. The goal of this study is to investigate the professional experience of psychologists who deal with terminally ill patients. Two narratives about the perception of professional success and insuccess were asked to 40 psychologists who usually work with advanced cancer patients. 37 psychologists accepted to participate, the 42% gave al least one narrative. The 54.8% of the narratives was about professional success, the 45.2% was about insuccess. The narratives were examined using an hermeneutical-interpretative method, according to Grounded Theory. The narratives concerning professional insuccess pointed out feelings of isolation, fear, anxiety and helplessness. Those regarding a professional success focused on a good relationship between the psychologist, the patient and the context. Specific issues emerged from the study: questions arising from the patient’s refusal of the psychological treatment, the absence of difficulty in initiating end-of-life discussions, and the lack of requirement for specific training.
Key words: psychologist, professional experience, end of life, cancer patients, qualitative research.
Parole chiave: psicologo, vissuto professionale, fine vita, pazienti oncologici, ricerca qualitativa.