Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

First Committee Member

Tara Emmers-Sommer

Number of Pages



This investigation focuses on patients' perspectives of hospice care as relating to the communication of the wholistic1 health care approach defined in the mission of hospice care. Given research reveals that the communication of wholistic health care is affected by factors such as individual patient health, social support systems, and interdisciplinary teams (IDTs), this study aims to examine whether the original hospice mission has been met, maintained, or communicated to hospice patients. Semi-structured, open-ended interview questions explore patients' perceptions of wholistic care and interdependence with the participants, in their health care. Responses reflected that patients are unaware of all the services offered under wholistic care. Furthermore, through the lens of relational dialectics, patients are unable to receive this comprehensive care and struggle between the tensions of openness and closedness, autonomy and connectedness, and uncertainty and certainty as they attempt to create and maintain interdependence with IDTs and social support systems; 1Patients perceived holistic health care to be synonymous with Eastern healing philosophies, which incorporate medical practices "outside the mainstream of scientific medicine" (holistic, n.d.). To emphasize hospice holistic care as comprehensive care for the whole individual, this study utilizes an alternative spelling of wholistic.


Approach; Call; Care; Centered; Dying; Hospice; Individual; Patients; Research

Controlled Subject

Mass media; Communication; Public health

File Format


File Size

2867.2 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit