“That could have been me”: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Healthcare Professionals Experience of Managing the Professional and Personal Impact of Patient Death in Motor Neurone Disease
Health care professionals working in motor neurone disease will inevitably encounter patient death. Yet, relative to other terminal conditions, the professional and personal impact of this remains seldom discussed. Using semi-structured interviews, this study aimed to explore 10 health care professionals’ experiences of managing the professional and personal impact of patient death in motor neurone disease. Four group experiential themes with 11 sub-themes were identified using an interpretative phenomenological approach: death is part of the job; nuanced challenges in MND; places death on your personal agenda; caring for oneself to care for others. The findings demonstrate an interaction for healthcare professionals between patient death and their relationship to their own mortality, with such reflections increasing with age and most paramount when there were assumed similarities with the patients they were supporting. Participants acknowledged the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preserving emotional boundaries to manage this and the need for more reflective spaces. Notably, participants also spoke of their work as an enriching experience that shaped their approaches to living. Clinical implications and areas for future research are discussed.
Keywords: health care professionals, motor neurone disease, patient death, death anxiety
|Date of Award||10 Oct 2022|
|Supervisor||Pamela Jacobsen (Supervisor), Anna Strudwick (Supervisor), Jonathan Paulett (Supervisor), Ben Frayne (Supervisor) & Leon Dysch (Supervisor)|