The practice of pilgrimage in palliative care: a case study of Lourdes

Alison Lillie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    AIM: To understand why healthcare professionals working in palliative care felt that pilgrimage to Lourdes could be a beneficial activity for the terminally ill. DESIGN: A qualitative study using a phenomenological framework. METHODS: Nine semistructured interviews with a purposive sample of hospice staff. RESULTS: The reasons given for accompanying the terminally ill to Lourdes reflected the general aims of palliative care. They included improving the quality of life through the provision of a holiday, maintaining patient choice and autonomy and enabling inner-transformations. The communitas, or altered relationships, formed during the pilgrimage were also seen as beneficial.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)234-239
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


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