BACKGROUND: The interprofessional approach is part of the philosophy in palliative care, and its benefits are already documented. However, there are no evidence regarding the process through which the interprofessional team faces the process of the patient's end-of-life and how this experience might be of value for the team's development itself. The aim of this study was to analyse and understand the psychosocial processes that occurs when an interprofessional team accompanies patients and their families to death in palliative care, with the ultimate aim to develop a substantive theory to describe this phenomenon.
METHODS: A Grounded Theory method, as theorized by Strauss and Corbin, was adopted for this study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and then independently analysed using constant comparison analysis. Fourteen healthcare professionals - belonging to different disciplines (doctor, nurse coordinator, nurse, nurse assistant, psychologist) - were interviewed in a Northern Italy palliative care facility.
FINDINGS: The core category of this study was identified to be the process of accompaniment of the dying patient as an interprofessional ecosystem. Moreover, the results showed four main factors determining the development of the core psychosocial process: from professionals' 'Hidden Amazement' to 'Onerous Happiness' where 'Weaving of Professional Resources' and 'Work Meaning' are the underlying conditions to catalyse the process itself.
CONCLUSION: Interprofessional care appears an essential value, which becomes the source of the team's strength when facing end-of-life experiences. Health policies and organisations should take the importance of the characteristics of the work environment more carefully. The meaning that professionals attribute to their work and to the team itself, indeed, it may have impact on the overall quality of care and contribute to sustain work engagement, even in stressful situations like end-of-life care.
Professional values reflect nurses' understanding of how to deliver professional care, which might influence nurses' attitudes and caring behaviors during end-of-life care. However, limited research has been conducted to explore nurses' experiences of professional development during end-of-life care, and theoretical explanations are scarce about how nurses enact their professional values during the caring process. This study explored the social process of professional values involved in end-of-life care in the Chinese cultural context by adopting a constructivist grounded theory approach. Twenty semi-structured in-depth interviews among 15 nurses from three hospitals in southeastern China were conducted. A theoretical framework emerged when focusing on the social process of "reframing the meaning of life and professional values" to facilitate professional care for dying patients. Three main categories were sequentially identified as "recognizing the dilemmas when caring for dying patients," "applying strategies to deal with values conflict," and "reconstructing values." This theoretical framework may be applied as a practical framework for equipping nurses with effective strategies to cultivate professional values, including the provision of adequate end-of-life knowledge, and a supportive workplace environment.
BACKGROUND: Clinical cancer research trials may offer little or no direct clinical benefit to participants where a cure is no longer possible. As such, the decision-making and consent process for patient participation is often challenging.
AIM: To gain understanding of how patients make decisions regarding clinical trial participation, from the perspective of both the patient and healthcare professionals involved.
METHODS: In-depth, face to face interviews using a grounded theory approach. This study was conducted in a regional Cancer Centre in the United Kingdom. Of the 36 interviews, 16 were conducted with patients with cancer that had non-curative intent and 18 with healthcare professionals involved in the consent process.
RESULTS: 'Nothing to lose' was identified as the core category that underpinned all other data within the study. This highlighted the desperation articulated by participants, who asserted trial participation was the 'only hope in the room'. The decision regarding participation was taken within a 'trusting relationship' that was important to both patients and professionals. Both were united in their 'fight against cancer'. These two categories are critical in understanding the decision-making/consent process and are supported by other themes presented in the theoretical model.
CONCLUSION: This study presents an important insight into the complex and ethically contentious situation of consent in clinical trials that have non-curative intent. It confirms that patients with limited options trust their doctor and frequently hold unrealistic hopes for personal benefit. It highlights a need for further research to develop a more robust and context appropriate consent process.
Palliative care is provided at a certain timepoint, both in a person's life and in a societal context. What is considered to be a good death can therefore vary over time depending on prevailing social values and norms, and the person's own view and interpretation of life. This means that there are many interpretations of what a good death can actually mean for an individual. On a more general level, research in palliative care shows that individuals have basic common needs, for example physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Therefore, in today's pluralistic Western society, it becomes important that palliative care is person centred to enable individuals to receive, as far as can be achieved, care that promotes as good a life as possible based on the person's own needs and preferences, and in accordance with evidence and current laws. For many years a research group, consisting nurse researchers together with nurses working in palliative care, has developed a model for person-centred palliative care, the 6S-model. The model's central concept is Self-image, where the starting point is the patient as a person and their own experience of the situation. The other concepts: Self-determination, Symptom relief, Social relationships, Synthesis and Strategies are all related to the patient's self-image, and often to each other. The model's development, value base and starting assumptions are reported here, as are examples of how the model is applied in palliative care in Sweden. The model has been, and still is, constantly evolving in a collaboration between researchers and clinically active nurses, and in recent years also with patients and close relatives.
The purpose of this integrative review was to appraise the qualitative and quantitative literature for community-level health behavior theory application to palliative care nursing to identify their use and future research implications. To date, there has not been an integrative review of the nursing studies that have used community-level health behavior theory to guide palliative care nursing research. Despite the availability of high-quality care, there continues to be underuse of resources. An integrative review on community-level theory application may provide a more holistic understanding of previous interventions to frame future interventions and research needs. The review was guided by the 5-step framework of Whittemore and Knafl. Relevant literature was searched and appraised. Seven different community-level health behavior theories were found with applications to palliative care nursing, and 16 studies using these theories were identified for discussion. Community-Based Participatory Research was the most used theory. Community-level health behavior theories such as Community-Based Participatory Research have helped build partnerships and activate community resources such as capacity, engagement, and diversity through culturally sensitive training interventions. Further research using these theories in palliative care nursing can realize positive outcomes, particularly in low-income rural areas.
Little is known about health professionals first experiences of End-of-Life care in hospital. This study aims to understand the psycho-social process that occurs when hospital-based health professionals engage in caring for a dying patient for the first time. We conducted a Grounded Theory study, with 19 health professionals. Challenging professional boundaries is the core category which explains the overall process. The theoretical model we conceptualized evidenced three phases: 1) building a relationship between patient/family and professionals, 2) the disrupting impact and 3) the reaction phase. Our analysis highlighted the initial strong impact of this experience, which brought professionals to perceive emotional suffering and feelings of inadequacy. The new aspect our grounded theory revealed is that all the categories are pertinent to all the professionals involved, therefore they explain important aspects of interprofessional collaboration in End-of-Life care.
OBJECTIVE: The diagnosis of an advanced cancer in young adulthood can bring one's life to an abrupt halt, calling attention to the present moment and creating anguish about an uncertain future. There is seldom time or physical stamina to focus on forward-thinking, social roles, relationships, or dreams. As a result, young adults (YAs) with advanced cancer frequently encounter existential distress, despair, and question the purpose of their life. We sought to investigate the meaning and function of hope throughout YAs' disease trajectory; to discern the psychosocial processes YAs employ to engage hope; and to develop a substantive theory of hope of YAs diagnosed with advanced cancer.
METHOD: Thirteen YAs (ages 23-38) diagnosed with a stage III or IV cancer were recruited throughout the eastern and southeastern United States. Participants completed one semi-structured interview in-person, by phone, or Skype, that incorporated an original timeline instrument assessing fluctuations in hope and an online socio-demographic survey. Glaser's grounded theory methodology informed constant comparative methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
RESULTS: Findings from this study informed the development of the novel contingent hope theoretical framework, which describes the pattern of psychosocial behaviors YAs with advanced cancer employ to reconcile identities and strive for a life of meaning. The ability to cultivate the necessary agency and pathways to reconcile identities became contingent on the YAs' participation in each of the psychosocial processes of the contingent hope theoretical framework: navigating uncertainty, feeling broken, disorienting grief, finding bearings, and identity reconciliation.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Study findings portray the influential role of hope in motivating YAs with advanced cancer through disorienting grief toward an integrated sense of self that marries cherished aspects of multiple identities. The contingent hope theoretical framework details psychosocial behaviors to inform assessments and interventions fostering hope and identity reconciliation.
Background: There is little concrete guidance on how to train current and future healthcare providers (HCPs) in the core competency of compassion. This study was undertaken using Straussian grounded theory to address the question: “What are healthcare providers’ perspectives on training current and future HCPs in compassion?”
Methods: Fifty-seven HCPs working in palliative care participated in this study, beginning with focus groups with frontline HCPs (n = 35), followed by one-on-one interviews with HCPs who were considered by their peers to be skilled in providing compassion (n = 15, three of whom also participated in the initial focus groups), and end of study focus groups with study participants (n = 5) and knowledge users (n = 10).
Results: Study participants largely agreed that compassionate behaviours can be taught, and these behaviours are distinct from the emotional response of compassion. They noted that while learners can develop greater compassion through training, their ability to do so varies depending on the innate qualities they possess prior to training. Participants identified three facets of an effective compassion training program: self-awareness, experiential learning and effective and affective communication skills. Participants also noted that healthcare faculties, facilities and organizations play an important role in creating compassionate practice settings and sustaining HCPs in their delivery of compassion.
Conclusions: Providing compassion has become a core expectation of healthcare and a hallmark of quality palliative care. This study provides guidance on the importance, core components and teaching methods of compassion training from the perspectives of those who aim to provide it—Healthcare Providers—serving as a foundation for future evidence based educational interventions.
OBJECTIVE: to understand the meanings attributed by nurses about conditions that interfere in defending of the elderly's autonomy on the terminality of life in the context of hospitalization.
METHOD: qualitative and exploratory study, which applied the Grounded Theory. Data were collected between November 2016 and May 2017, in the internal medicine wards of a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, through non-participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Three sample groups composed of ten nurses, eight doctors, and 15 nursing technicians were investigated.
RESULTS: the conditions are related to the medical power, subordination of nurses, family influences; the functional decline of the elderly; and biomedical model. Final considerations: the elderly's autonomy is veiled and violated since their abilities are subjugated, and the family's will and professional paternalism may prevail. However, this right must guide contemporary care models and integrate palliative care.
Methods: As in life at large, ideas of 'self' underlie a great deal of theory and practice in palliative care and in bereavement care, they are frequently implicit, being part of shared cultural assumptions, but may assume a degree of theoretical abstraction when fostered by professionals. This article considers the latter, arguing for an interpretation of 'self' influenced by the anthropological notion of dividual or composite personhood and not for that of the autonomous, relatively insular individual typified in much postmodern culture.
Results: After depicting both types of personhood, the article explores Western theories of grief typified in the approaches of attachment and loss, continuing bonds with the dead and narrative approaches to identity.
Discussion: The dividual approach to personhood then drives a theoretical critique of those grief theories as a means of reflecting upon palliative and bereavement care.
Conclusion: This alignment of palliative and bereavement care is seen as an entailment of the dividual approach to personhood, while further consequences are raised for analysing memory, dreams and visitations of the dead, as well as providing a potential perspective upon memory loss and the dissonance experienced by relatives of someone who no longer recognizes them.
Background: Being next-of-kin to someone with cancer requiring palliative care involves a complex life situation. Changes in roles and relationships might occur and the next-of-kin thereby try to adapt by being involved in the ill person’s experiences and care even though they can feel unprepared for the care they are expected to provide. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a classic grounded theory of next-of-kin in palliative cancer care.
Method: Forty-two next-of-kin to persons with cancer in palliative phase or persons who had died from cancer were interviewed. Theoretical sampling was used during data collection. The data was analysed using classic Grounded Theory methodology to conceptualize patterns of human behaviour.
Results: Constructing stability emerged as the pattern of behaviour through which next-of-kin deal with their main concern; struggling with helplessness. This helplessness includes an involuntary waiting for the inevitable. The waiting causes sadness and frustration, which in turn increases the helplessness. The theory involves; Shielding, Acknowledging the reality, Going all in, Putting up boundaries, Asking for help, and Planning for the inescapable. These strategies can be used separately or simultaneously and they can also overlap each other. There are several conditions that may impact the theory Constructing stability, which strategies are used, and what the outcomes might be. Some conditions that emerged in this theory are time, personal finances, attitudes from extended family and friends and availability of healthcare resources.
Conclusions: The theory shows the complexities of being next-of-kin to someone receiving palliative care, while striving to construct stability. This theory can increase healthcare professionals’ awareness of how next-of-kin struggle with helplessness and thus generates insight into how to support them in this struggle.
Context: Digital health offers innovative mechanisms to engage in palliative care, yet digital systems are typically designed for individual users, rather than integrating the patient’s caregiving “social convoy” (i.e. family members, friends, neighbors, formal caregiving supports) to maximize benefit. As older adults with serious illness increasingly rely on the support of others, there is a need to foster effective integration of the social convoy in digitally supported palliative care.
Objectives: Conduct a qualitative study examining patient, social convoy, and health care provider perspectives on digital health for palliative care to inform the design of future digital solutions for older adults with serious illness and their social convoy.
Methods: Grounded theory approach using semi-structured interviews (N=81) with interprofessional health care providers, older adults with serious illness, and their social convoy participants at home, clinic, or Zoom. Interviews were conducted using question guides relevant to the participant group and audio recorded for verbatim transcription. Two coders lead the inductive analysis using open and axial coding.
Results: Thematic results aligned with the human centered design framework, which is a participatory approach to the design process that incorporates multiple user stakeholders to develop health solutions. The human centered design process and corresponding theme included: (1) Empathy: Patient, Caregiver, and Provider Experience reports participants’ experience with managing serious illness, caregiving, social support, and technology use. (2) Define: Reactions to Evidence-Based Care Concepts and Barriers illustrates participants’ perspectives on the domains of palliative care ranging from symptom management to psychosocial-spiritual care. (3) Ideation: Desired Features reports participant recommendations for designing digital health tools for palliative care domains.
Conclusion: Digital health provides an opportunity to expand the reach of geriatric palliative care interventions. This paper documents human centered preferences of geriatric palliative care digital health to ensure technologies are relevant and meaningful to health care providers, patients, and the caregiving social convoy.
Although there is an increased need for delivery of bereavement care, many health care providers in acute care hospital settings feel inadequately prepared to deliver quality grief support, have lack of time, and have inexperience in provision of bereavement care. As a result, although families would like health care providers to offer bereavement support, they are inadequately trained and susceptible to burnout, resulting in families not having their needs met. The purpose of this qualitative study was to uncover the social process occurring in a bereavement education workshop titled "How to Care, What to Say" offered to health care providers. The goal of the workshop was to improve delivery of care for the dying and their family by providing holistic care to the family before, during, and after the death of a loved one. Past grief workshop participants who cared for the bereaved were interviewed, and data were analyzed and synthesized using constructivist grounded theory. Individual interviews and focus group data revealed participants' perceptions, learnings, and potential integration of the workshop into practice. The overarching theory of providing bereavement care that emerged from the data is "a relational process of understanding knowledge, self-awareness, moral responsibilities, and advancing grief competencies of providing holistic grief support."
PURPOSE: Perinatal and neonatal palliative care guidelines recommend the provision of photographs and other mementos as an element of care for parents bereaved by neonatal loss. However, little is known about parents' perceptions of such bereavement interventions. This study explored the significance of memory-making for bereaved parents and the impact of memory-making on parents' experience of loss following neonatal loss.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 bereaved parents. A grounded theory approach informed by Corbin and Strauss was used to underpin data sampling, data collection and data analysis. A constant comparative approach was used to engage in open, axial and selective coding to distil parents' stories into categories supporting a core concept.
RESULTS: "Creating evidence" emerged as a key theme in the grounded theory of memory-making in bereavement care for parents following neonatal loss. Creating evidence involved taking photographs, creating mementos, as well as involving friends and family during the baby's time in the Neonatal Unit.
CONCLUSIONS: Creating evidence affirmed the life of the baby and the role of the parents. Creating evidence was a significant element of memory-making that had a positive impact on parents' experience of bereavement.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Parents should be supported to create evidence of their baby's life, through taking photos, creating mementos, and involving others in their baby's care. Such interventions provide affirmation of the baby's life and of the individual's role as a parent.
Patients with dementia may be discharged from hospice if their condition stabilizes. The loss of professional support and an already complex grief process needs careful attention. A live discharge presents a unique experience for each hospice patient, caregiver, and hospice team, which varies from traditional bereavement theories used to describe the grieving process. This article explores live discharge from hospice for caregivers of adults with dementia through a theoretical lens of Symbolic Interactionism (SI) and Attachment Theory (AT). The theories of SI and AT support and assist in understanding the experience of caregivers who lose hospice support due to ineligibility. In addition, caregivers watch the gradual deterioration and psychological loss of someone with dementia while they remain alive described as an ambiguous loss. Ambiguous loss as a subset of traditional bereavement theories provides a framework for this exploration and provides a relevant illustration of the complex needs. This article will conclude with implications for social work practice. It is important for hospice clinicians to be aware of current termination practices necessary to manage appropriate attachments, support the symbolic meaning of the hospice experience, validate the ambiguous losses, and maintain a sense of hope through a live discharge from hospice.
Anticipatory grief is a concept commonly used by researchers and clinicians when talking about the experience before the death of a loved one. This article offers a critical perspective on the disciplinary, theoretical and philosophical foundations of three distinct and frequently used conceptualisations of anticipatory grief: Lindemann's, Rando's and one derived from sociology. Lindemann's perspective conceived anticipatory grief as an inevitable component of the grieving experience in the situation of impending death. Rando's perspective views anticipatory grief as a multidimensional that facilitates post-mortem mourning. The third perspective, offered by sociologists, defines anticipatory grief as an experience highly influenced by the social context of the individual. This review explains how these different perspectives influence research and concludes with a reflection for potential future research.
BACKGROUND: The availability of interventions for bereaved parents have increased. However, most are practice based. To enhance the implementation of bereavement care for parents, an overview of interventions which are replicable and evidence-based are needed. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of well-defined bereavement interventions, focused on the parents, and delivered by regular health care professionals. Also, we explore the alignment between the interventions identified and the concepts contained in theories on grief in order to determine their theoretical evidence base.
METHOD: A systematic review was conducted using the methods PALETTE and PRISMA. The search was conducted in MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL. We included articles containing well-defined, replicable, paediatric bereavement interventions, focused on the parent, and performed by regular health care professionals. We excluded interventions on pathological grief, or interventions performed by healthcare professionals specialised in bereavement care. Quality appraisal was evaluated using the risk of bias, adapted risk of bias, or COREQ. In order to facilitate the evaluation of any theoretical foundation, a synthesis of ten theories about grief and loss was developed showing five key concepts: anticipatory grief, working models or plans, appraisal processes, coping, and continuing bonds.
RESULTS: Twenty-one articles were included, describing fifteen interventions. Five overarching components of intervention were identified covering the content of all interventions. These were: the acknowledgement of parenthood and the child's life; establishing keepsakes; follow-up contact; education and information, and; remembrance activities. The studies reported mainly on how to conduct, and experiences with, the interventions, but not on their effectiveness. Since most interventions lacked empirical evidence, they were evaluated against the key theoretical concepts which showed that all the components of intervention had a theoretical base.
CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of most interventions, their alignment with theoretical components shows support for most interventions on a conceptual level. Parents should be presented with a range of interventions, covered by a variety of theoretical components, and aimed at supporting different needs. Bereavement interventions should focus more on the continuous process of the transition parents experience in readjusting to a new reality.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: This systematic review was registered in Prospero (registration number: CRD42019119241).
CONTEXT: Opportunities for the use of palliative care services are missed in African-American communities, despite Level I evidence demonstrating their benefits.
OBJECTIVE: Single-institution, stakeholder-engaged study to design an intervention to increase palliative care use in African-American communities.
METHODS: Two-phased qualitative research design guided by the Behavior Change Wheel (BCW) and Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) models. In phase one, focus group sessions were conducted to identify barriers and facilitators of palliative care use, and the viability of community health workers (CHWs) as a solution. After applying the BCW and TDF to data gathered from phase one, phase two consisted of a stakeholder meeting to select intervention content and prioritize modes of delivery.
RESULTS: A total of 15 stakeholders participated in our study. Target behaviors identified were for patients to gain knowledge about benefits of palliative care, physicians to begin palliative care discussions earlier in treatment, and to improve patient-physician interpersonal communication. The intervention was designed to improve patient capability, physician capability, patient motivation, physician motivation, and increase patient opportunities to use palliative care services. Strategies to change patient and physician behaviors were all facilitated by CHWs and included: creation and dissemination of brochures about palliative care to patients, empowerment and activation of patients to initiate goals of care discussions, outreach to community churches, and expanding patient social support.
CONCLUSION: Use of a theory-based approach to facilitate the implementation of a multi-component strategy provided a comprehensive means of identifying relevant barriers and enablers of CHWs as an agent to increase palliative care use in African-American communities.
L'auteur cherche à répondre à la souffrance psychique et existentielle de ses patients. Pour se faire, il utilise les théories de Viktor Frankl car ce psychiatre a consacré toute sa carrière à une recherche empirique sur le sens de la vie.
AIMS: To investigate the end-of-life nursing-care practice process in long-term care settings for older adults in Japan.
DESIGN: A qualitative study based on grounded theory developed by Corbin and Strauss.
METHODS: Sampling, interviewing and analysis were performed cyclically, with results for each stage used as the basis for data collection and next-stage analysis decisions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted from March 2015 - March 2019 with 22 nurses from eight long-term care settings. Analysis was performed using coding, constant comparison and emerging categories.
RESULTS: The core category, "guiding the rebuilt care community to assist the dying resident" comprised five categories: "assessing the resident's stage," "harmonizing care with the dying process," "rebuilding a care community," "helping community members care for the resident," and "encouraging community members to give meaning." The participants were the integral members of the care community, as well as guides who helped and encouraged the community.
CONCLUSION: Results revealed the holistic process of end-of-life nursing-care practice in Japan. Nurses aimed to allow long-term care residents to die as social human beings. Such practice requires nursing expertise, health-care skills and leadership qualities to build and serve care communities. Nurses must also consider residents' uncertainties and vulnerabilities as well as their cultural backgrounds.