At the core of the research problem in this particular research study is palliative sedation(Gielen et al. 2012). The researcher indicates it as an option of the last resort to control refractory suffering. While this is so, the researcher advances that palliative-care nurses vary significant with regards to their attitudes on palliative sedation. On one hand, there are those that tend to harbor a believe that euthanasia is preferable to palliative sedation(Gielen et al. 2012). On the other hand, there are those who tend to believe that non-voluntary euthanasia is a case of a deeply, as well as, a continuously sedated patients not professionally right and that it is generally not right to administer artificial fluids or floods to such a patient. With such divisions in attitudes, it follows that there is no commonly known understanding of the palliative sedation attitudes of nurses. By seeking to solve the problem, it means that information will be provided and an understanding of the palliative sedation attitudes among nurses will be realized. This implies that the study is indeed solving a problem relevant to nursing.
Indeed, on route towards solving this particular problem, the researchers place the problem within the context of the existing knowledge. They have developed a theoretical framework meaning that the entire study is guided by nursing theories regarding the issue under study. In addition to this, the researchers conduct a literature review whereby they explore the ideas of other researchers who have investigated similar topics of study. By doing this, the researchers are placing the problem within the context of the existing knowledge. The researchers aim at studying the nurses` attitudes to palliative sedation, as well as, assess the influence of demographic variables, which include religion and worldview regarding these attitudes.
Review of the Literature
Through the literature review, the researchers explore several concepts. Some of these include the frequency of palliative sedation in terminal patients, Palliative sedation as an ethical topic, attitudes of palliative-care nurses and the factors that influence these attitudes, which include age, the level of experience with reference to care of dying patients, gender and religion, which the researchers mostly address as the world view(Gielen et al. 2012). Most of the resources that the rese4archers used in the literature review are current. Most of them are within five years, which are the recommended standards in any research study. However, there are instance that they break from these standards and include sources that are more than five years old. However, they do this in the context where they intend to derive or depict the different views on Palliative sedation as a debated ethical topic. According to the researchers, the debate is old as the concept itself.
The underlying theoretical concepts are indeed defined and related to this particular research. Most of the theoretical concepts relates toPalliative sedation and nurses attitudes. Besides this, for the theoretical framework, the researchers draw solely on nursing theory(Gielen et al. 2012). This can be confirmed by the nature of theoretical resources used. Each of these resources addresses the issue of Palliative sedation implying that they are within the nursing discipline. While there is a theoretical framework in this particular research study, it requires a person top locate it. This is precisely because, the researchers do not address it as a topic of research as it is required in a standard research study whether in nursing or in other disciplines. In this regard, in order to qualify the research study further and to make it authentic, there is a necessity to research theoretical framework as a topic itself. With this, a reader is able to know the context in which the researchers are conducting their research study. This also improves the objectivity of the research study.
This particular research study is characterized by both dependent and the dependent variables. The dependent variables in this case are the attitudes of the nurses, which the researchers address as clusters. On the other hand, the independent variables are the demographic variables, which include gender, religion or worldview, age, as well as, years of experience(Gielen et al. 2012). While the researchers precisely state the variables in the research study, they fail to give their operational definitions. This has a damaging effect to the reader considering that to him or her, they may appear as implying different meanings from what the researchers intend. In this regard, where the researcher and the reader do not come to a consensus, it may follow that the research study may become unqualified.
The researchers have stated the research hypothesis quite clearly. With regard to the hypothesis, the researchers have stated that there is a possibility that churchgoing nurses are more inclined to regard palliative sedation as a preferable alternative to euthanasia. While this is so with the research hypothesis, the researchers have not stated the research question explicitly. Rather, it requires the reader to dig deep in order to pick out the research question being addressed by the researchers.
The researchers adopted the use of a qualitative research design. This can be confirmed by the method of collecting data and the nature of the data collected. As such, the researchers collected data using questionnaires, which required the nurses to express themselves in forms of words. Therefore, the research design was a qualitative one. Besides, the researchers used deductive reasoning. Throughout the research study, the researchers seemingly work from general information to more specific in an effort towards testing the study hypothesis.
The target population for this research study was nurses offering palliative careworking in Flemish palliative care. The sample size was 589 nurses. This number was reached after the researchers spelled the inclusion and the exclusion criteria. When they distributed the research questionnaires, the researchers stated that they were only meant for every registered palliative-care nurse. The researchers accorded the respondents with 30-40 minutes for a period of one month to answer the research questions(Gielen et al. 2012). However, in between, the researchers sent the respondents reminders. The researchers then used a latent-class analysis on the nurses` opinions in order to analyze the nurses` attitudes. Pearson chi-square and Kruksal – Wallis testswere used to analyze the effect of demographic variables on the palliative-sedation clusters(Gielen et al. 2012). During the entire process of collecting data, the researchers upheld confidentiality as the only ethical consideration. While it is not explicitly explained in the research study, it follows that the respondents were not required to fill in their names. They were only required to fill in their gender, experience, and worldview in the context of demographic background. Therefore, the researchers were aware of the need for confidentiality.
The researchers used two data analysis tools and methods. These included the Pearson chi-square and the Kruksal – Wallis tests, whichwere used to analyze the effect of demographic variables on the palliative-sedation clusters. The results of the analysis were presented using graphs. From the analysis, it was established that 66 nurseswere atheists/agnostics and this accounted for 18.3% of the total population. Further, it was found out that 106 nurses were churchgoing, 64 nurses were religious but did not value going to the church(Gielen et al. 2012). These populations accounted for 29.4% and 16.7% respectively.
Summary/Conclusions, Implications & Recommendations
In all its appearances, this particular research study is characterized by strengths and weaknesses. The research study has its strength in that it provides valuable data for the nursing practice. Indeed, the information that the research unfolds contributes immensely towards solving the underlying question, which is to the benefit of the discipline(Gielen et al. 2012). However, after collecting the research data, instead of performing a statistical analysis, the researchers seem to identify trends in data. As such, the researchers appear to look for statements, which seem identical across different respondents. Since it is not easy to subject the trends to statistical analysis, it follows that the researchers cannot validate them through the calculation of the p-value.
Further, the researchers cannot generalize the findings to other populations. This particular study is limited to the attitudes of palliative sedation care nurses. In this regard, the findings are inapplicable to other populations as long as they are not part of the palliative sedation discipline. Despite the weaknesses entailing this particular research study, it can be confirmed that the findings and the conclusions are significant for the nursing practitioners. Considering that there is no clear understanding of the nursing attitudes regarding palliative care, the conclusions and the findings have contributed entirely towards setting off an understanding. They have contributed towards informing the discipline on these attitudes. A follow-up on this research would be integral towards affirming these findings in order to enhance the understanding set offfurther.
Gielen et al. (2012).Flemish palliative-care nurses` attitudes to palliative sedation: A quantitative study.Nursing Ethics, 19(5), 692 – 704.