International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticlePractice development using video-reflexive ethnography: promoting safe space(s) towards the end of life in hospital
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sAileen Collier
ReferenceVolume 6, Issue 1, Article 3
Date of PublicationMay 2016
Keywordscpalliative care, patient safety, person-centred care, practice development, qualitative studies, video recording

Background: There is international consensus of the need for improved palliative and end-of-life care in hospital settings. What is less clear is how such improvements might be realised in practice. Research and practice improvement methodologies need to acknowledge the relational, spiritual, moral and ethical as well as physical dimensions of death and dying if improvements in care are to be achieved.

Aims and objectives: The aim of this article is to explore the potential of video-reflexive ethnography as a practice development methodology to improve care of people with a life-limiting illness in the hospital setting.

Methods: The study used video-reflexive ethnography and was underpinned by an indigenous research ethical framework.

Findings: Study findings highlight the potential of video-reflexive ethnography as a practice development methodology. The reach of video extended internally and externally beyond immediate practice research sites to make hospital dying tangible. The research acted as a disruptive innovation, foregrounding peoples’ (patients and families) expertise as well as that of healthcare workers. For some patient and family participants, the research offered a visual legacy.

Conclusions: The theories underpinning video-reflexive ethnography and practice development are closely aligned; the former has potential as a practice development methodology to promote person-centred palliative and end-of-life care. The underpinning philosophical, ethical and values framework through which it is applied, along with the skills and aptitude of facilitation, are critical if its potential is to be realised.

Implications for practice development:

  • The delivery of person-centred end-of-life care may be facilitated by:
  • Healthcare workers seeing themselves and those they care for differently
  • Healthcare organisations seeing their employees as well as patients and families differently
  • Researchers also being prepared to see themselves differently
  • The use of video-reflexive ethnography as a potential practice development methodology to meet these objectives


This article by Aileen Collier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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