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Death in the multiculturally staffed nursing home (2017–ongoing)

In this PhD-project, Anne Kristine Ådland uses a psycho-social approach to investigate how health professionals in multicultural staff communities deal with meeting death in nursing homes, and what institutional procedures, structures and rituals support or undermine communication about personal and existential experiences when staff meet death in the nursing home.

An ethnographic field study of how health professionals in multicultural staff communities deal with meeting death in nursing homes (2017-2020)

Nursing homes have become an important setting for end of life care in Norway. Approximately 50% of all registered deaths in Norway occur today in nursing homes. Due to globalization, and migration from Europe, Asia, and Africa, Norwegian nursing homes have increasingly become a multicultural workplace. Yet, research on how health professionals in multicultural staff communities react to and cope with death remains scarce. Therefore, this project is an important contribution to the development of knowledge and understanding of how death is approached in multicultural staff communities in nursing homes in Norway, which will have consequences for the welfare of employees and for how dying patients and their families experience the last stages of life.

The study has a qualitative, exploratory-descriptive design, based on ethnographic fieldwork and narrative interviews with multicultural nursing home staff at two nursing homes for six months. A psycho-social approach in this project is taken to mean a focus on the relationship between intra- and interpersonal, institutional and societal dimensions in human relations and working practices, and what implications the relationship between these dimensions has for how health professionals in multicultural staff communities deal with meeting death in nursing homes.

The PhD project will result in an article-based thesis, including three publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Supervisor: Professor Ellen Ramvi (University of Stavanger)

Co-supervisors: Professor Marta Høyland Lavik (Stavanger University Hospital/VID) and Post-doctoral Fellow Birgitta Haga Gripsrud (University of Stavanger)

This PhD-project is part of Work Package 4 in Multicultural workforce in nursing homes: Contemporary challenges, opportunities and potentials for the future in the Norwegian municipal care sector, MULTICARE, financed by the Research Council of Norway.