Challenges in conducting qualitative palliative care research

Sujatha Shanmugasundaram, Maureen Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globally, there is an increasing demand for palliative care nursing mainly due to the continued growth and ageing of the population. Another factor is the number of people suffering from progressive chronic diseases as these people are more likely to make use of palliative care services. The need for an evidence based research in this area cannot be overstated particularly in developing guidelines for palliative care practice and palliative care service developments. The quality of palliative care services will also dictate whether the ageing population will seek other alternatives to a peaceful and dignified death such as euthanasia and assisted suicide. In the literature there are many randomised controlled studies in palliative care however very little using qualitative or 'lived experience' research methods. This may be because of the challenges inherit in conducting this type of research. The major challenges faced by the qualitative researcher that have been cited in the limited literature relate to methodological and ethical issues. This article will discuss these challenges and will provide insights on how best they can be addressed based on the authors personal experience in this specialty area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalSingapore Nursing Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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