Case study analysis of end of life care development in the Chinese cultural context of Macao: A social movement perspective

Kuai In Tam*, Elaine Haycock-Stuart, Sarah J. Rhynas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: The modern hospice movement is often recognised as a social movement. However, such understanding is primarily based on historic reflection and this approach has lacked theoretical exploration. There is a lack of systematic examination of the modern hospice movement by way of social movement theories.
Aim: Focusing on the Chinese socio-cultural context of Macao, this study aimed to understand the EoLC movement by applying the social movement theory, the Framing Perspective, as proposed by Snow and Benford in 1988. 
Methods: A case study approach was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were held between 2012 and 2013, with pioneers (n=11) of the EoLC in Macao. Thematic analysis was adopted to analyse the interviews. 
Results: The Framing Perspective analysis illuminated that there was both growth and stagnation of the EoLC movement. Three themes emerged: 1) the suffering of people at the end of their lives was considered as a social problem needed to be addressed urgently, 2) the incoherent EoLC strategies developed by pioneers indicated the lack of internal ideological cohesion within the movement, 3) external constraints contributed to the stagnation of the movement. 
Conclusions: The EoLC development in Macao can be understood as a social movement. The Framing Perspective provided a theoretical way to understand the emergence of EoLC; offering a novel perspective to conceptualise the modern hospice movement. This sociological and theoretical lens opened up new ways for future research to study the emergence of EoLC in different socio-cultural contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105 (2021)
Number of pages10
JournalBMC palliative care
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • the modern hospice movement
  • hospice care
  • palliative care
  • end of life care
  • Chinese culture


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