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Table 1 Categorization of qualitative data

From: Symptoms, unbearability and the nature of suffering in terminal cancer patients dying at home: a prospective primary care study

Category of suffering Indications for assigning category
Physical Medical morbidity, the physical symptom itself, physical symptoms which result in physical experienced suffering
Loss of meaning Loss of: identity, capacity of self-fulfillment, communication, social role, social interaction, intimacy
Loss of autonomy Suffering acknowledged to be caused by: loss of autonomous functioning or occurrence of dependency (presence itself of loss of autonomy or of dependency is not sufficient to assign the category)
Loss of dignity Socially embarrassing symptoms, shame, body image concerns, not being taken seriously, worthlessness
Loss of sexual role Loss of capability of sexual functioning; loss of sexual role
Fear of future suffering Fear caused by awareness of potential suffering related to progress of disease
Anxiety Anxiety
Death anxiety Anxiety related to awareness of the process of dying and what will go along with that, and anxiety related to the actual dying process
Depressiveness Suffering caused by the presence of depressive thoughts
Worrying Negative thoughts which cannot be turned off
Feeling tensed Feeling tensed in mind or body
Hopelessness Loss of possibility of meaning
Pointlessness Total loss of meaning; nothing left