Exploring experiences of compassion and resilience in clinical psychologists working in palliative care

Cramond, Laura and Fletcher, Ian and Rehan, Claire (2015) Exploring experiences of compassion and resilience in clinical psychologists working in palliative care. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

[thumbnail of 2015Laura CramondDClinPsy]
PDF (2015Laura CramondDClinPsy)
2015Laura_CramondDClinPsy.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


The quality of palliative care can have a profound impact upon patients’ and families’ lives. Furthermore, the well-being of professionals within palliative care has serious implications for patients and families, professionals, and organisations. Therefore, this thesis explored issues within palliative care from both the patients’ and professionals’ perspective. Firstly, a meta-synthesis of literature was conducted in order to answer the following questions: “What do palliative care patients value in their care?” and “What enhances palliative care patients’ experience of feeling cared for?” The meta-synthesis of 14 papers revealed five themes: The Holistic Nature of Care, Being With People who Have a Shared Understanding, Talking and Being Listened to, Oscillating Between Living and Dying, and Psychological Well-being. The findings suggested aspects of care that services could focus on in order to meet patients’ needs. Secondly, experiences of 12 clinical psychologists working in palliative care were explored using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in order to gain an understanding of the impact this work has on their levels of compassion and resilience. Six themes were identified: Being Part of Something Special, The Therapeutic Relationship, Doing More With Less, Being Changed as a Result of Involvement, The Consummate Professional, and Practicing What you Preach. Experiences were characterised by the impact of the therapeutic relationship, organisational change, and effects on the self. Finally, the process of conducting research within palliative care was critically appraised. Methodological issues, as well as the effects of conducting research in palliative care on the researcher were discussed.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
10 Aug 2015 15:20
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:41