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An exploration of the measurement of resilience in palliative care workers

Pangallo, A. (2014). An exploration of the measurement of resilience in palliative care workers. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Resilience is a concept associated with the idea that some people seem to readily bounce back from adverse experiences. In order to identify the best methods to develop and sustain resilience in palliative care workers there is a need for greater understanding of how to measure the resilience construct. Despite an abundance of resilience models and theories, there is very little consensus on how resilience should be operationalised and measured. Furthermore, there are no empirical studies that explore the measurement of resilience as it pertains to the unique demands of the palliative care setting. Therefore this thesis presents four studies designed to explore the measurement of resilience in palliative care workers.

All studies took place within the context of the UK palliative care sector using adult samples working in hospices, acute wards, and community settings. The first study was a systematic and methodological review of resilience measurement scales to understand how resilience is currently being conceptualised in the peer reviewed literature. The second study explored how resilience is currently operationalised through a joint factor analysis of resilience scales identified in Study One using a sample of human service (n=361) and palliative care (n=245) workers. The third study explored behaviours associated with resilience from the perspective of palliative care workers using template analysis (n=36). Results indicated that in addition to intrapersonal and interpersonal resources, palliative care workers identified procedural knowledge as a key resilience resource. Therefore, the fourth and final study presents the development and validation of a situational judgment test designed to measure a procedural knowledge resource associated with resilience in palliative care workers using a sample of subject matter experts (n=21), hospice workers (n=36), and workers from across the palliative care domain (244).

Overall, findings suggest that due to the over-reliance on self-report resilience questionnaires there is a tendency to measure resilience as a trait rather than a person-situation interaction. In response to this, a new measurement approach was explored using a situational judgment test method. In the final chapter the overall findings are discussed in relation to both their theoretical and practical implications; and finally some directions for future research are suggested.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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