Exploring families’ experiences of reduced face-to-face interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic in hospice settings
LITERATURE REVIEW: A narrative literature review was conducted to identify current knowledge of the impact of COVID-19 on the communication between staff and families surrounding palliative care. Themes generated included the reduction in face-to-face interactions, the increased use of telehealth and the additional pressures of a pandemic. The most resonate theme and notable impact of COVID-19 on communication between staff and families, was caused by reduced face-to-face interactions. Literature included, largely concerned the experiences and opinion of healthcare professionals with the experiences of patients and families reported as proxy. Therefore, a gap in knowledge regarding the experiences of families was identified. AIMS: The proposed research aims to explore families’ experiences of reduced face-to-face interactions occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic in a palliative context and in hospice settings. PROPOSAL: The proposed research will utilise an interpretivist paradigm and adhere to a personcentred practice framework to provide underpinning ontological and epistemological assumptions. Interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) will be used to explore participants’ lived experiences and inform decision making regarding methodology, methods and analysis. The rigour of IPA in the context of this proposal shall also be investigated. DISCUSSION: The nature of the proposed research context of palliative care and family experience may generate sensitive ethical considerations which will be discussed and deliberated. Possible practical and methodological limitations will be also examined. It is reasoned that this proposal may provide participating families, the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings and that findings may be used to inform future research and prospective improvement of palliative care practice.