An adaptable instrument and method for exploring care and compassion

Roger Newham, Louise Terry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Narratives, particularly when visual and auditory elements are added to words, reveal more about cultures and behaviours, including those present in professional and service settings. Discourse analysis (DA) enables researchers to explicate meanings and understandings linking culture and behaviour.

Aim To explain the development of a DA instrument and method for a research study of caring and compassion as expressed in different media.

Discussion The DA instrument assisted in systematic and multi-modal data analysis by several researchers from different countries and backgrounds. DA appears well-suited to revealing the complexities of caring and compassion by healthcare and social care educators, capturing ‘objectivist’ and ‘subjectivist’ accounts. While allowing differences, it also helped to achieve some commonality.

Conclusion Together, the instrument and method could be used in educating nurses about care and compassion.

Implications for practice The DA instrument and method can be adapted by other nurse researchers to examine complex human issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
JournalNurse Researcher
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2017


  • care
  • case studies
  • compassion
  • discourse analysis
  • narratives
  • rigour
  • nursing research


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