coordinators, hospice care, moral distress, moral resilience, palliative care, qualitative research, volunteer work



  1. Jacobs, Gaby PhD


Moral distress arises in the dynamic relationship between personal factors and the organizational and political contexts of care work. Whether moral distress actually leads to a reduced well-being of health care workers or a reduced quality of care in the sector depends to a large extent on how moral tensions are dealt with, also called moral resilience, and the protective conditions available. Research about moral distress and moral resilience within the field of health care has concentrated on staff nurses and physicians. Studies into palliative terminal care and/or about the role of coordinating staff are scarce. A study was conducted to gain insight into the moral challenges that coordinators in voluntary palliative terminal care encounter in their ambition to realize good care, how they deal with these challenges, and the individual and organizational characteristics that foster or hamper moral resilience. Interviews were conducted with 20 coordinators and were qualitatively analyzed. The results brought forward 3 moral challenges in working with volunteers and in collaborating with professional care, namely, striving for connection, negotiating autonomy, and struggling with open communication. However, coordinators seemed to face these challenges effectively. In conclusion, the relational narrative strategies used by coordinators to deal with these challenges, in combination with personal and organizational conditions, foster moral resilience.