17 months (November 2019 - March 2021)
Dr Glenys Caswell (Senior Research Fellow)
Stage of development:
Recruitment was initially halted because of the coronavirus lockdown. However, things began to pick up at the end of June 2020 and recruitment of people who had experienced bereavement began. The original plan was to recruit 10 bereaved people, but the response to the advert placed in a local community newsletter was so good that an ethics amendment was sought to allow up to 20 people to be recruited. This was approved in July 2020 and 17 bereaved people have taken part in interviews about their experiences. I am currently undertaking interviews with a small number of professionals who work in relevant fields. Analysis of the data is also underway.
What is the study about?
The study will explore how bereaved people experience the time when a person they care about dies. It will also explore how professionals understand and experience time of death when they provide care for a dying person or for the body of someone who has died.
Death and time are linked, with human lives bounded by birth and death, which both take place within time. The moment of death is an important marker of a person’s transition from life to death, yet time of death remains a complex concept. Efforts to find more accurate ways of pinpointing time of death continue in the field of forensic medicine, but we have little understanding about how individuals experience the passage of time. Time may seem to speed up or slow down and may even seem to stop; it is part of the wider experience of life and is an important element of the experience of dying.
This project aims to begin addressing this gap in the research by exploring such questions as:
- How do people experience time when someone they care about is dying?
- How do people experience the time at which someone they care about dies?
- Is this felt to be a significant moment?
- Are there any consequences for people from not knowing when the person they cared about died?
- Do professionals, whose work involves them in caring for a dying person or looking after the body after death, experience the time of death differently to people who have undergone a bereavement?
What will the study achieve?
The study will contribute to our understanding of how people experience the deaths of other people about whom they care. It will also contribute to our understanding of time and the ways in which it is experienced.
What does the study involve?
We are asking people to get involved in the study in one of two ways:
1) If you have experienced a bereavement at least 8 weeks ago, by taking part in a single informal interview to discuss your experiences.
Information about the single informal interview
2) If you are a professional whose work involves you in caring for or sitting with dying people, verifying or certifying death, managing or caring for the body of someone who has died, by taking part in a single informal interview to discuss your experiences.
Information about the single interview (for professionals)
If you would like to find our more about the study or arrange to take part, please contact Dr Glenys Caswell
Tel: 0115 8230872
Address: School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, NG7 2HA.