Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/eb-2012-100955
  • Nursing issues
  • Cross sectional study

Asking next-of-kin of recently deceased cancer patients to take part in research: 11 of 20 surveyed found it a positive experience

  1. Verna L Hendricks-Ferguson2
  1. 1School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  2. 2School of Nursing, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Terrah L Foster
    School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, 461 21st Avenue, South 418 Godchaux hall, Nashville, TN 37240, USA; terrah.l.foster{at}

Commentary on: Koffman J, Higginson IJ, Hall S, et al. Bereaved relatives’ views about participating in cancer research. Palliat Med 2012;26:379–83.

Implications for practice and research

  • These results will aid the development of protocols for screening bereaved individuals who are eligible for study participation.

  • These results provide insight into bereaved participants’ preferences for data collection methods (eg, face-to-face, phone and self-completion postal surveys).

  • The needs of non-cancer-related deaths and paediatric populations (eg, bereaved child participants; childhood deaths) need consideration in future studies.


In 2008, the Department of Health in England called for a better understanding of bereaved relatives’ views of end-of-life care. However, ethical concerns exist regarding whether the vulnerable population of bereaved relatives should be involved as research study participants. With little research evidence addressing this ethical debate, Koffman and colleagues explored the appropriateness and acceptability of an end-of-life-care …

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