Palliative Care (Qualitative Research Critique)

Palliative Care (Qualitative Research Critique)

Research critique can be a tedious but a necessary process of assessing the quality of the studies reviewed in literature. The critiquing process of a qualitative research articlediffers from the quantitative research in a variety of ways. As such, identifying the study design employed in a research article before its review is of utmost significance(Burns, Grove, & Gray, 2011). In essence, this paper aims at providing a critical appraisal of a qualitative research article that focuses on palliative care. Also, it will highlight the implication of the research findings for nursing practice, and establish the ethical considerations associated with the carrying out the study.

Background of Study

Of the essence to the background of this study is the clinical problem that inspired the need for carrying out the research. Ciemins, Brant, Kersten, Mullette, and Dickerson, (2015), drew their motivation for this study from the existing evidence showing that many patients are not benefiting fully from the palliative care services, which are very essential to their wellbeing. Additionally, the paucity of studies targeting to establish the patients’and families’ perspectives and experiencesof end-life of care also inspired the researchers to investigate on this issue.

The significance of this study is also evident in the background provided. That is for sure because the study pioneers implicated that an understanding of the patients’ and families’ perspectives and experiences provides insight on how to develop healthcare competencies and organizational alterations that would improve palliative care experience(Cieminset al., 2015).

As for the purpose of the study, Cieminset al. (2015) aimed at understanding the patients’ and families’ perspectives and experiences of palliative care services and facilitators as well as impediments to the receipt of these services.

The research questions that the authors sought to answer are not explicitly stated but are inferable. They are reflective of the research problem that researchers were investigating. They include:

  1. How do patients and families perceive palliative care services?
  2. What are the patients’ experiences of palliative care services?
  3. What are the facilitators and barriers for the reception of palliative care services?(Cieminset al., 2015)

Method of Study

Going by the nature of the inferred research questions, the qualitative methods employed in the answering of these questions are befitting. Such is the case given that qualitative study methods comprehensively capture information about the patient’s and families’ perceptions and experiences as well as facilitators and impediments(Cieminset al., 2015).

The authors centered the study on a specific perspective that is worth noting. Primarily, it revolved around the issue of facilitators and barriers to achievement of a satisfactory palliative care experience as well as healthcare professional attributes that contribute to a positive experience(Cieminset al., 2015).

Central to the article are various studies cited by the researchers in support of the issues they were investigating. Also, the study is reliant on information from textbooks and guidelines. Some of the studies used as evidence in this research are not compliant to the not older than 5-year limit for reference materials. Despite thenon-adherence to currency, the studies provided credible information about the studied matter. A deficiency in this article is the lack of evaluation of the studies to indicate their weaknesses(Cieminset al., 2015).

Although the literature review carried out in this study is brief and precise, it provides adequate information that builds a case for the carrying out of the research.

Last but not the least, the researchers were able to developa framework from the study findings given their utilization of the grounded theory (Cieminset al., 2015).

Results of Study

Primarily, the findings of this study are representative of the collected data because they cluster the data collected in several themes. Moreover, theprose format isthe preferred style of presenting the results because it suites the nature of the collected data. That said, the researchers established that patient-centered attributes contributing to satisfactory and positivepalliative care experience included presence, reassurance and honoring choices. Additionally, the study also concluded that healthcare personnel must also exhibit certain attributes for the achievement of satisfactory and positive palliative care experience. Such competencies include respect,connectedness, approachability,good communication, genuineness, provision of information,empathy, compassion, sensitivity, an ability to listen, empowerment, and timeliness(Cieminset al., 2015).

The implication of these findings to nursing is the need for understanding patient and family perspectives of a positive palliative care experience if institutionalization of quality palliative care is a priority. Another implication is that the identification of attributes contributing to a positive palliative care experience in healthcare personnel can become integral in the determination and maintenance of quality care.That is for sure since recognition of these qualities in healthcare professionals will result in reinforcement and nurturing of these characteristics(Cieminset al., 2015).

Concerning the study results contribution to nursing knowledge/science, it is beyond doubt that these findings increase the awareness of medical professionals on what the terminally ill patients yearn from the provided palliative care services(Cieminset al., 2015). Such awareness is beneficial to all areas of nursing since it enables all stakeholders to understand what they need to do for the provision of satisfactory palliative care.

Ethical Considerations

Precisely, the pioneers of the study widely adhered to ethical standards of medical research. Such is the case given that before carrying out the study, they sought approval from the Billings Community Institutional Review board. Besides, the upholding of the right to patient privacy is also evident in this study. Central to the conclusion that the researchers protected the patient’s privacy is their non-identification of patient or family namesand the interview of individuals instead of groups(Cieminset al., 2015).

Finally, being a qualitative research design, the study did not need to have ethical considerations regarding the treatment or non-treatment of participants given its non-introduction of any intervention, which is common in quantitative research (Polit, & Beck, 2012).


Concisely, this paper aimed at critically appraising a qualitative research article that focused on palliative care. Such a review of research article is essential since it enables an individual to appreciate the quality of the study. Indeed, this discussion has demonstrated the same by comprehensively analyzing all the necessary components of the research article. Of great importance for future nursing practice from this critique process is the unequivocal role played by patient-centered attributes such as presence, reassurance and honoring choices as well as healthcare competencies like empathy and listeningin the positive patient and family experience. As such, going forward, there is need for availing these elements if the realization of quality palliative care services is utmost significance.




Burns, N., Grove, S., & Gray, J. (2011).Understanding nursing research (1st ed.). Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier/Saunders.

Ciemins, E. L., Brant, J., Kersten, D., Mullette, E., & Dickerson, D. (2015).A qualitative analysis of patient and family perspectives of palliative care. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 18(3), 282-285. doi:10.1089/jpm.2014.0155

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2012). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice.Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.









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