“Keep All Thee ‘Til the End”: Reclaiming the Lifeworld for Patients in the Hospice Setting

Emily West, Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Hans Philipsen, Irene J. Higginson, H. R. W. Pasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


St Christopher’s Hospice, London, was founded to provide specialist care to the incurably ill. We studied the dimensions of difference that set St Christopher’s Hospice apart from hospital care of the dying, focusing on physical space and social organization. Material from 1953 to 1980 from the Cicely Saunders Archive was analyzed qualitatively. Through thematic analysis, quotes were found and analyzed using open coding. Five themes were developed. Themes identified were home/homelike, community, consideration of others, link with outside world, and privacy. The hospice philosophy functioned as the catalyst for the development of the physical environment of St Christopher’s Hospice. Taking Habermas’ concept of lifeworld, it seems that, in contrast to acute care, the need for hospice to formulate their own lifeworld to support and fully engage patients was central. As lifeworlds are culture sensitive, this underlines the need for variation in design and organization of hospices around the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-403
JournalOmega (United States)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • adults and death
  • attitudes
  • culture
  • death
  • family
  • hospice
  • hospitals
  • narrative
  • pain

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