Application of Terror Management Theory to End-Of-Life Care Decision-Making: A Narrative Literature Review

Laura M. Perry, Brenna Mossman, Ashley B. Lewson, James I. Gerhart, Lily Freestone, Michael Hoerger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patients with serious illnesses often do not engage in discussions about end-of-life care decision-making, or do so reluctantly. These discussions can be useful in facilitating advance care planning and connecting patients to services such as palliative care that improve quality of life. Terror Management Theory, a social psychology theory stating that humans are motivated to resolve the discomfort surrounding their inevitable death, has been discussed in the psychology literature as an underlying basis of human decision-making and behavior. This paper explores how Terror Management Theory could be extended to seriously ill populations and applied to their healthcare decision-making processes and quality of care received.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOmega (United States)
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • end-of-life care
  • healthcare decision-making
  • palliative care
  • serious illness
  • terror management theory

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