Team Approach: Innovative Approach to Colaizzi's Method of Empirical Phenomenology

Monday, July 11, 2011

Verna L. Hendricks-Ferguson, PhD, RN
Goldfarb School of Nursing, Barnes-Jewish College, St. Louis, MO
Kathleen J. Sawin, PhD, CPNP-PC, FAAN
College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Claretta Y. Dupree, PhD, RN, ANP
Health Care, ITT Technical Institute, High Point, NC
Kitty Montgomery, MS, RN, PCNS-BC
Hematology/Oncology/Transplant Unit, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Joan E. Haase, RN, PhD, FAAN
School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

Learning Objective 1: To describe a team approach used to identify commonalities among pediatric oncology nursesí experiences with palliative and end-of-life care communication with families of dying children.

Learning Objective 2: To describe a team approach used to examine pediatric oncology nursesí perceptions of factors influencing communication with dying children, their families, and health care providers.

Purpose: Improvement in the quality of palliative and end-of-life care (PC/EOL) for children is identified  as a national health care priority.  Communication about PC/EOL among health care providers (HCP), children, and families is also a recognized priority and key factor to improve overall quality of PC/EOL.  PC/EOL communication guidelines have yet to be established. Still, nurses are especially situated at the forefront of opportunities to communicate PC/EOL perspectives with children and their families. Therefore, research is needed that is focused on the communication patterns between nurses and the dying child and their family members and between nurses and the HCP regarding PC/EOL. The purpose of this presentation is to describe a collaborative team approach used during implementation of a multi-site study to: (a) evaluate nurses’ perceptions of factors that facilitate and impede palliative and end-of-life (PC/EOL) communication with dying children, their families, and health care providers and (b) identify group commonalities of nurses’ PC/EOL communication experiences.

Methods: The study used a unique combination of group-as-a whole theory and empirical phenomenology.  Pediatric oncology nurses were recruited from 3 pediatric hospitals in the Midwest. Four focus groups were conducted at each site using the selected theory to guide data-collection and analyses. Nurses were assigned to focus groups according to years of experience in pediatric oncology nursing. Data from 12 focus groups are being analyzed using Colaizzi’s method of empirical phenomenology.

 Results: Focus group data collection and analysis is possible with nurse investigators from multi-sites when a planned team approach is used that includes training in data collection and use of conference call technology during data analysis.  Analysis of focus group data is currently in progress.

 Conclusion: The team approach used to analyze focus group data provides evidence of an innovative and effective model for future collaboration among nurse clinicians and scientists.