Hospice nurse communication with patients with cancer and their family caregivers

Lee Ellington, Maija Reblin, Margaret F. Clayton, Patricia Berry, Kathleen Mooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: Effective communication by hospice nurses enhances symptom management for the patient, reduces family caregiver burden and distress, and potentially improves bereavement adjustment. However, research has not kept pace with the rising use of hospice by patients with cancer and thus we know little about how hospice nurses communicate. Methods: The overriding objective of this pilot study was to provide insight into these in-home visits. Hospice nurses audiorecorded their interactions over time with family caregivers and patients with cancer. The communication within these tapes was coded using Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) and analyzed. Results: We found that tape recording home hospice nurse visits was feasible. RIAS was suited to capture the general content and process of the home hospice encounter and the coded interactions show the range of topics and emotions that are evident in the dialogue. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-268
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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