Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2018

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Nancy Carlson-Steadman


The purpose of this study was to analyze the daily lives of in-home hospice nurses in order to learn what life experiences, attitudes, and strategies contribute to their abilities in caring for patients who are terminally ill using the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO). Additionally, the study sought to understand how working in hospice care affects the everyday lives of the nurses outside of their workplace. The research questions were, “How do the interests, values, personal causation (motivation), habits, and roles of an in-home hospice nurse affect their occupational performance in caring for the terminally ill?” and “In what ways does working as an in-home hospice nurse affect important habits and life roles performed outside of the workplace?” Participants included three in-home hospice nurses from a common home health agency. Semi-structured interviews using a modified version of the Assessment of Occupational Functioning-Collaborative Version were conducted. Five overarching themes emerged from the data pertaining to the MOHO concepts of volition, habituation, and performance capacity: “A Caregiving Personality,” “Flexibility and Self-Sacrifice in Time Management,” “Value of Patients’ Perspectives,” “Participation in Stress-Relieving Activities,” and “Finding Purpose Outside of Work.” In conclusion, MOHO is well-suited for studying in-home hospice care professionals. Knowledge of how nurses deal with work-related stress can be utilized by OTs to understand their own perceptions of hospice care. More occupation-based studies of hospice professionals would be beneficial as hospice care needs increase with an expanding older adult population.


Senior thesis.