How do nurses make sense of establishing and maintaining relationships in palliative care?
This research proposal seeks to explore how nurses make sense of forming and maintaining therapeutic relationships in palliative care. The proposed study aims to gain insight into what the therapeutic relationship means and to identify any patterns in behaviour that emerge for nurses working in palliative care, viewed through the orientation lens of attachment theory. Over the course of six months, a representative from every palliative care setting in Scotland will be offered the opportunity to take part in this exploration. Through purposive sampling, six nurses will be selected for interview following the structure of interpretative phenomenological analysis to gain qualitative data on their perceptions, opinions and experiences of forming and maintaining relationships in palliative care. The findings will provide insight into this important aspect of nursing. It is hoped that by carrying out this exploration, greater insight can be gained around how the therapeutic relationship is experienced by palliative care nurses, and if any patterns of behaviour emerge around this. The findings from this proposal will provide an interesting read to those working in palliative care and perhaps trigger further study around how attachment style relates to the findings. Key Words: Attachment, Nursing, Palliative Care, Experience, Therapeutic Relationship