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Table 3 43 themes emerging out of interviews with 18 GPs about the death of a patient

From: The death of a patient: a model for reflection in GP training

A.Good death (or not) B.Professional values and experiences C.Personal values and experiences
1. Good farewell* 1. Being a backstage director* 1. Feelings of guilt, responsibility and powerlessness*
2. Holding on and letting go by the patient; balance in autonomy* 2. Nearness and distance; the doctor as a person in the relationship* 2. Purpose and meaning of life, death and suffering*
3. Orientation of patient towards expressing and sharing feelings and thoughts* 3. Guidance (not steering); being available for patients* 3. View on suffering: how much is a patient allowed to suffer, to what extent does suffering belong to life*
4. Peace 4. Typical tasks of the GP* 4. (Hidden) mission*
5. Beautiful 5. Helpful 5. Closure of life*
6. Effect of stage of life; degree of prematurity 6. Giving room and paying attention 6. Personal experiences with death; relation with one's own death*
7. Fits into a person's life 7. Professional responsibility 7. Religion
8. Availability and accessibility of the GP 8. GP as privileged partner with privileged knowledge 8. Partner in intimacy; admiration and amazement
9. Nature and intensity of disease 9. Showing and experiencing respect 9. Leaving one's own norms behind
10. Environment 10. Carefulness 10. Grief
11. Religion or world view 11. Self-care 11. Internalization of norms
12. Feeling that one is part of a larger entity 12. Doctor as a professional in the relationship 12. Sharing with colleagues or at home as a way of dealing with experiences
  13. Medicine as an art 13. Experiences in life and in the profession
  14. Euthanasia 14. Identification with patients
   15. Influence of doctor-patient relationship
   16. Pleasure in recognizing and identifying the patient as a person
   17. Learning from the death of others; absorbing experiences
  1. * Themes with highest internal consistency, intensity of the words spoken and specificity of the experience ("I ..." statements).