Using a lifeworld approach to explore nurse student values: a longitudinal study

Authors: Scammell, J., Tait, D. and White, S.

Start date: 5 June 2016

Background: Influential reports in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere has been critical of nurse education in the promotion of caring and compassionate values (Francis 2013). Previous research has adopted an ethical perspective to the investigation of this issue; however there is little research adopting a ‘lifeworld’ approach as a conceptual framework to understand these concerns.

Aim: To report on phase 2 of a three-phase mixed methods longitudinal study that explores ‘lifeworld’ as an expression of being, through students perceptions of their values at their nursing degree mid-point.

Method/Design: The University Ethics Committee granted ethical approval. Data collection consisted of repetition of an open-ended survey (first administered in phase 1 at the start of the degree programme). In phase 2, the survey (Values Clarification Exercise (VCE), Manley 2011) was completed by 82 of 156 students (53% response) in one English university at the degree programme mid-point (June 2015). This was followed up with focus groups involving 24 participants.

Results/Findings: An inductive manifest content analysis (Graneheim and Lundman 2003) was used to analyse VCE statements. Seven themes emerged: • Upholding the values • Establishing effective therapeutic relationships • Offering clients choices • Impact of time • Respecting humanity • Organisational factors • Future learning.

The VCE findings were then presented to focus group participants for discussion. Data analysis is on-going using a co-operative inquiry approach with students as participants and researchers. Initial findings indicate that students are dedicated to upholding the humanising values they reported at programme commencement and are developing strategies to manage the factors that influence value-based care.

Conclusions: This study shows that students retain person-centred values as they progress through their nursing degree. By adopting a lifeworld approach, students have been able recognise the innate nature of values and critique the challenges of applying these in clinical practice.

References • Francis, R. 2013. The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public Inquiry http://www.midstaffspublicinquiry.com/report The Stationery Office, London • Graneheim, U, H & Lundman, B. 2003. Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to archive trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today. 24, 105 – 112 • Manley, K. 2000. Organisational culture and consultant nurse outcomes: Part 1 organisational culture. Nursing Standard. 14, 36, 34 – 38

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