‘It’s like a wedding planner’: Dying2Learn Massive Open Online Course participants views of the Death Doula role

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Abstract

A Dying2learn Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was held in 2020 with the aim of bringing the community together to talk about death and dying, with participants undertaking activities, contributing comments, and sharing thoughts and feelings. An activity was posed for participants within a compassionate communities’ framework related to the Death Doula role. As we were interested in the views regarding the Death Doula role by those without a professional background in healthcare. We extracted comments from this cohort of course participants (n = 147) and analysed them in NVivo. Eight themes were subsequently generated: (1) It is new to me, and I have no experience with one, (2) I have heard of it, and I have met one, (3) There is a place for it, but what about the role of family and friends, (4) Death doula training, finding the role interesting and wanting to know more, (5) Creating community, supporting the dying and helping loved ones, (6) I am one, I do this informally, or I want to be one, (7) The name, the industry, paying someone (8) Providing an alternative and recognising similar roles. The Dying2Learn community MOOC participants felt that there was value in having a supportive role such as a Death Doula and that it had importance for individuals and society. It was also apparent that the Death Doula role generated considerable interest from participants.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Palliative Care
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Compassionate communities
  • Death
  • Death Doula
  • Dying
  • MOOC

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