Assessing the credibility and transferability of the patient compassion model in non-cancer palliative populations

Abstract Background A lack of evidence and psychometrically sound measures of compassion necessitated the development of the first known, empirically derived, theoretical Patient Compassion Model (PCM) generated from qualitative interviews with advanced cancer inpatients. We aimed to assess the credibility and transferability of the PCM across diverse palliative populations and settings. Methods Semi-structured, audio-recorded qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 patients with life-limiting diagnoses, recruited from 4 settings (acute care, homecare, residential care, and hospice). Participants were first asked to share their understandings and experiences of compassion. They were then presented with an overview of the PCM and asked to determine whether: 1) the model resonated with their understanding and experiences of compassion; 2) the model required any modification(s); 3) they had further insights on the model’s domains and/or themes. Members of the research team analyzed the qualitative data using constant comparative analysis. Results Both patients’ personal perspectives of compassion prior to viewing the model and their specific feedback after being provided an overview of the model confirmed the credibility and transferability of the PCM. While new codes were incorporated into the original coding schema, no new domains or themes emerged from this study sample. These additional codes provided a more comprehensive understanding of the nuances within the domains and themes of the PCM that will aid in the generation of items for an ongoing study to develop a patient reported measure of compassion. Conclusions A diverse palliative patient population confirmed the credibility and transferability of the PCM within palliative care, extending the rigour and applicability of the PCM that was originally developed within an advanced cancer population. The views of a diverse palliative patient population on compassion helped to validate previous codes and supplement the existing coding schema, informing the development of a guiding framework for the generation of a patient-reported measure of compassion.
BMC Palliative Care. 2018 Sep 13;17(1):108