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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Suffering, Survival & Hope
Module Code NS5007
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Angela Cocoman
Semester 2: Angela Cocoman
Autumn: Angela Cocoman
Module TeachersAngela Cocoman
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module is most essentially about suffering. It is about direct experiences of suffering and ‘what it is like’ to suffer in various health care contexts. It is about responses to suffering and what persons do in acknowledging or denying the lived realities of distress and adversity. It is about how persons ‘keep going’ or ‘hang on’ during times of suffering, and the various implications of ‘survivorship’. And it is about how persons hope when they suffer, what influences such hope and how this can be significant for their futures.

Learning Outcomes

1. Discuss the meanings and significance of suffering in healthcare contexts
2. Explore responses to suffering in health care by reference to institutional, discursive, interpersonal and personal issues
3. Evaluate notions of resistance and acceptance as they relate to persons who are suffering in health care contexts
4. Explore the meanings and implications of survival in health care
5. Explore the significance of hope and the conditions in which it is promoted

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture8Participation in lecture-discussion
Online activity50Incorporating Moodle discussion and use of on-line materials
Assignment Completion50Preparation of an essay
Independent Study112Incorporating reading and use of library
Seminars30Preparation for, and participation in, student-led seminars
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The meanings of suffering and its significance in health care; suffering and narrativity; suffering as loss of self; suffering and the body; normativity and suffering; technology, medicalisation and suffering; praxis theory of suffering.

Suffering and the Other
Suffering as a call to the Other;institutional denial and acknowledgement; social systems as a defence against anxiety; bystanding and whistleblowing; persecution and disregarding the Face of the Other; sufferer-led care.

Resistance and acceptance
Pathologising resistance; taking a stand on one's own being; resistance and contingency; identity entrapment; downward and upward acceptance; mindfulness.

Stoicism; enduring for the Other; religion and survival; storying survival; survivor activism

Concepts of hope; survival and hope;hope and demoralization; anxiety-inflected hope;the placebo in health care; hope, health and achievement; conditions for hopefulness; critiques of positive thinking.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayOn the role of the Other in the face of suffering50%Week 11
ParticipationParticipation in Moodle-based discussion fora20%As required
PresentationSelf-assessed and peer-assessed participation in student-led seminars focused on relevant articles from the literature.30%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Stanley Cohen: 2001, States of denial, Polity Press, Cambridge, 0745623921
  • Frank, A W: 1995, The Wounded Storyteller, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 0-226-25993-5
  • Frank, AW: 2004, The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, medicine, and how to live, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 0-226-26015-1
  • Kleinman, A.: 1988, The Illness Narratives: Suffering, healing and the human condition, Basic Books, New York,
  • Joseph A. Amato with the assistance of David Monge; foreword by Eugen Weber: 1990, Victims and values, Greenwood Press, New York, 0275936902
  • Ernest Becker,: 0, The Denial of Death, 0285638971
  • Maddie Blackburn: 0, Sexuality and disability, 0750622520
  • Susan Bordo; new preface by the author; new foreword by Leslie Heywood: 2003, Unbearable weight, University of California Press, Berkeley, Calif., 9780520240544
  • Bowman, JL: 2011, Stoicism, Enkrasia and Happiness, iUniverse, Indiana,
  • Michael Burleigh: 2002, Death and deliverance, Pan, London, 9780330488396
  • Charmaz, K: 1991, Good days, bad days, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, N.J., 0-8135-1967-5
  • Cutcliffe, J: 2004, The Inspiration of Hope in Bereavement Counselling, J Kingsley, London,
  • 0: Smile or Die, 31358
  • 2005: Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability, Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, 31359
  • 2004: Man’s Search for Meaning, Rider, London, 31360
  • 2006: Death’s Door: Modern dying and the ways we grieve, WW Norton, New York, 31361
  • 2004: Mindfulness: Expanding the cognitive-behavioural tradition, Guilford Press, New York, 31362
  • 2002: The challenge of sexuality in health care, Blackwell Science, Oxford, 31363
  • 2005: Coming to Our Senses: Healing ourselves and the world through mindfulness, Hyperion, New York, 31364
  • 1996: Speaking of Sadness: Depression, disconnection and the meanings of illness, Oxford University Press, New York, 31365
  • 2006: Is it me or my meds? Living with antidepressants, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 31389
  • 2000: The dying process, Routledge, London, 31366
  • 0: Humanism of the other, 31367
  • 2001: The Problem of Pain, Harper, San Francisco, 31368
  • 2000: The Nazi doctors, Basic Books, [New York], 31369
  • 2004: Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic guide to life, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 31390
  • 2010: Obedience to Authority: An experimental view, New Edition, Pinter & Martin, London, 31370
  • 1998: Illness and Culture in the Postmodern Age, University of California Press, Berkeley, 31391
  • 2010: Bodies, Profile, London, 31392
  • 0: Flourish: A New Understanding of Happiness, Well-Being - And How to Achieve Them., 31371
  • 2000: Handbook of Hope, Academic Press, San Diego, 31372
  • 1995: Chronic Illness: From experience to policy, Indiana Press, Bloomington,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
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GDGHPGrad Dip in General Health Care Practice
GDGNPGrad Dip in General Nursing Practice
GDIDHPGrad Dip Intell. Dis. Health Care Prac.
GDIDNPGrad Dip in Int. Dis. Nurs. Practice
GDMHNPGrad Dip in Mental Health Nurs. Prac.
GDMHPGrad Dip in Mental Health Care Prac.
MCAHPMSc Child & Adolescent Health Care Pract
MCANPMSc Child & Adolescent Nursing Practice
MDHPMSc in Dementia Health Care Practice
MDNPMSc in Dementia Nursing Practice
MGHPMasters in General Health Care Practice
MGNPMSc in General Nursing Practice
MIDHPMSc Intell. Dis. Health Care Practice
MIDNPMSc in Int. Dis. Nurs. Practice
MMHNPMasters in Mental Health Nursing Practic
MMHPMSc in Mental Health Care Practice
Date of Last Revision15-SEP-09

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