Working and supporting a dying relative: reconciling employment and palliative care in 'end of life' situations (7157)

En valorisation
Début / Fin
01.09.2012 - 31.05.2016
Domaine(s) d'expertise
Sociologie, anthropologie
Vieillesse, fin de vie
Sources de financement
Fonds national suisse de la recherche scientifique (FNS), Programme de recherche national (PNR) 67 "Fin de vie"
Berthod Marc-Antoine (Haute école de travail social et de la santé | EESP | Lausanne)
Collaboration de
Papadaniel Yannis (Haute école de travail social et de la santé | EESP | Lausanne)
Brzak Nicole (Haute école de travail social et de la santé | EESP | Lausanne)
Rapport de recherche (pdf1 Mo)


Men and women who work outside the home must at times perform a balancing act between their professional activities and duties and the support of a family member at the end of his or her life. If this support requires job reorganization, how does it take place? For how long? Which types of resources are mobilized? How do the various actors – caregivers, family members, employers and coworkers – take into account the worklife balance? To answer these questions, our research uses an anthropological perspective to study the articulation between care practices, informal support offered by family members and work commitment in ‘end of life’ situations. Within the framework of palliative care units and services, the implication of family members in the accompaniment of the terminally ill is indeed valued and their involvement explicitly solicited. They are encouraged to play an active part in the dying process and, in doing so, become ‘informal carers’, a notion which has been given increasing attention in health and social policies. At the same time, in corporate settings, they are prone to treating their new role as temporary carers as a private issue and to making their own arrangements. In partnership with four palliative care settings and three companies, our research will document and compare a series of ‘end of life’ situations linked with professional activities and settings. It will analyze the kinds of flexibility and provisions that are found on the workplace for helping employees conciliate these two roles. In articulating work and palliative care issues, our research will be of critical interest to understand the ways intimacy and personal matters are perceived and reconfigurated in our today society. It will help professionals and decision makers – policy makers, directors of palliative care facilities, health and social work professionals – to identify, implement and improve measures for informal carers who have to reconcile accompaniment and employment. Following an interprofessional and interdisciplinary approach, it will also be of interest to managers, human resources directors and companies’ social services, as it will provide them with a detailed analysis of the concrete issues experienced by those.

Read here the whole research report

Publication(s) liée(s)