Introducing the concept sense of place: A mediator between place of care and emotional distress of patients with cancer at the end of life

Adi Ivzori-Erel, Gil Bar-Sela, Miri Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A sense of place (SOP) is defined as the emotional bonds, values, meaning, and symbols attached to a place. Aim: To assess SOP of patients with cancer during end-of-life care at home (home-hospice service) versus at a hospital in relation to place of care, social support, and emotional distress. Methods: Participants were 150, stage IV, cancer patients with a life expectancy of less than 6 months, as defined by oncological staff, who were not receiving any life-prolonging care. Seventy-five patients received care at home (home-hospice), and the other 75 received care at the oncology department at the hospital, by palliative unit staff. Participants completed the Brief Symptom Inventory anxiety and depression subscales, questionnaires on perceived support and both questionnaires on home SOP and hospital SOP. Results: Mean scores of emotional distress were similar for patients in home-hospice and at the hospital. Home SOP among individuals receiving care at home was high, and hospital SOP was high among hospitalized individuals. The structural equation model had good fit indexes, showing that each of the SOP variables mediated the association between place of care and emotional distress. Perceived support was associated with lower distress only in the hospital setting. Conclusions: The SOP concept is relevant to understanding emotional distress in relation to place of care at end of life. Strengthening SOP in relation to place of care should be considered. As newly introduced concept regarding place of care at the EoL, SOP warrants further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1951-1958
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • cancer
  • emotional distress
  • end-of-life care
  • home-hospice
  • hospital
  • perceived support
  • psycho-oncology
  • sense of place

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Introducing the concept sense of place: A mediator between place of care and emotional distress of patients with cancer at the end of life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this