Aims This interdisciplinary project aims to discover untold stories about relationships between hospice practitioners and patients, from a novel, objects-based perspective.
Our aim is to understand the role of material things in palliative care – including how hospice staff and volunteers relate to and remember those they care for.
Introduction These are untold stories because the ‘everydayness’ of objects means they can be taken-for-granted. In 2009 Kellehear et al. published the first empirical study to analyse the significance of hospice bedside objects.
Our work extends this focus on materiality and considers the perspectives of staff, to generate new knowledge about the meaning of objects in hospice care.
Methods Staff and volunteers from a day care service were involved in two workshops where grave objects from the archaeological past and present-day objects made by or associated with patients were used as narration tools. In the first session, participants explored the meaning of objects and their relationships with patients.
These reflections continued into the second workshop where the group (including the research team) also shared stories about objects that reminded them of someone significant they have lost in their personal lives. These narratives were then used to co-produce a poem that weaves together fragments of the individual stories shared. All the accounts were audio-recorded and will be analysed in the next stage of the project.
Outcomes Our poem, ‘You’, is both research data, and an artful message that conveys the holistic ethos of hospice care through the many individual persons remembered in this work. Focusing on this, and the workshop process, our poster will discuss how this innovative collaboration has engaged the imagination of our local hospice community, in particular, its implications for encouraging different perspectives on the value of relationships in palliative care and cascading ideas inspired by day-care practice into wider hospice care.
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