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change, emotion, hospice palliative care professionals, qualitative inquiry



  1. Bruce, Anne RN, PhD
  2. Boston, Patricia RN, PhD


Using a case study approach in this qualitative study, the authors examine perceptions of the emotional challenges of hospice palliative care professionals. In-depth interviews were conducted and field notes were obtained from healthcare providers working in end-of-life care in hospital and community settings. Participants described experiences of challenges in working with current changes occurring within hospice palliative care. Using thematic analysis, an overarching theme of widening circles of palliative care was generated. Four subthemes identify emotions with associated changes, including apprehension of dying becoming an acute event, frustration with interdisciplinarity, urging self-care of healthcare providers, and holding tightly to patient-focused care.