A Palliative Approach in Rural Nursing: A qualitative secondary analysis


In seeking to answer the question of how a palliative approach can better meet the needs of patients with a life limiting illness and their family members it is important to draw upon some of the rich data already available. Two recent research studies conducted by Pesut and colleagues have examined various aspects of palliative care delivery in rural BC. The first was an ethnographic study examining healthcare ethics in rural palliative care. Data from this study included 95 interviews with palliative family members, healthcare providers, and volunteer palliative care providers. A second study examined the experiences of family care providers caring for a palliative patient in rural areas. Telephone interviews were completed with 28 family care providers whose family members had died from a variety of life-limiting illnesses. Together these studies contain a rich description of palliative care in rural contexts.  We will use this data to answer important questions relevant to a palliative approach for rural nursing.

Research Objectives and Questions:

  1. How can a palliative nursing approach better meet the needs of patients with a life-limiting illness in a rural context? 1.What is it that rural nurses need to know/be/do that will allow them to provide a palliative approach to patients and families?
    1. How can nurses ‘support’ patients better in rural areas using a palliative approach?
    2. What rural contextual factors support or inhibit a palliative approach within nursing?
    3. What makes a rural palliative approach different from the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are a part of high quality generalist nursing care or specialist palliative nursing care?


Pesut, Barbara; McLeod, Barbara; Hole, Rachelle; Dalhuisen, Miranda.  Rural Nursing and Quality End-of-Life Care: Palliative Care ... Palliative Approach ... or Somewhere In-Between?  Advances in Nursing Science. 35(4):288-304, October/December 2012.

Principal Investigator:
Barbara Pesut

Kelli Stajduhar
Barbara McLeod

Research Staff:
Lynnelle Erbacker
Miranda Dalhuisen

Project Contact:
Barbara Pesut    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Timeline:  Commenced August, 2011.  Completed May, 2012.
Funding:  Provided by the Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan

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