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Source: University of Saskatchewan

Hope for the Dying Research Secures Award for U of S Nursing Professor

October 27, 2006

Ground-breaking research into the power of hope for the dying has helped earn a University of Saskatchewan nursing professor the fall 2006 Distinguished Researcher Award.

Associate professor of nursing Wendy Duggleby will be presented with the award at the fall convocation ceremony Oct. 28th at TCU place in Saskatoon. The award recognizes a faculty member's contribution to scholarship through the creation, expansion, and critique of knowledge.

"Through her inspiring research and teaching and the award-winning video she helped produce to publicly share her research findings, Professor Duggleby has helped countless terminally ill cancer patients, their families and caregivers refocus their hope at the end of life," says U of S Vice-President Research Steven Franklin.

Duggleby led an inter-professional research team that helped produce the video Living with Hope. The film has received numerous accolades and is being used in cancer centres across Canada.

Duggleby says her research stems from the realization there was a lot being done to alleviate the physical pain experienced by palliative care patients, but little attention was given to emotional and spiritual pain. She observed some patients and their families did experience real hope at the end of life.

"When someone is no longer focusing on a cure, they might focus on other things - a good future for their loved ones, on living their remaining days to the fullest, on not suffering, and having a peaceful death. The fact is that hope is still there - it never goes away," Duggleby says. "The benefits of my work will be fostering comfort and peace for dying patients and their families."

Duggleby has 30 years of clinical experience as a nurse and educator. She has secured research funding from a range of granting agencies including the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Since joining the U of S, she has authored or co-authored 15 papers in refereed journals. Considered to be an international leader in her field, Duggleby presents her research findings at international, national and regional conferences.

"Dr. Duggleby has an unshakable commitment to palliative care," says colleague Barbara Raudonis, associate professor of nursing at the University of Texas at Arlington.

"She is without a doubt an important nurse scientist whose work is impacting palliative care patients and families throughout Canada, the U.S., and around the world."

Duggleby's current project is about the relationships and role of hope among the three groups of people involved in end-of-life care: the patient, the family caregivers, and the formal caregivers (doctors and nurses). She believes this research will ease the passing of patients, as well as help prevent burnout in this professional community.

While continuing her own research, Duggleby always makes time for her students. A devoted teacher to both undergraduates and graduates, she serves as adviser to students on their senior practicum. Over the course of her career, she has mentored six master's students and two PhD students.

Duggleby earned a bachelor of science in nursing from the U of S in 1975. She continued her studies at the University of Alberta, earning her Master's degree in 1990, before going to the University of Texas - Houston Health Science Centre, where she earned her doctorate in 1999.

Copies of the video Living with Hope may be ordered by contacting the U of S Division of Media and Technology at (306) 966-4261. For information on the team's other hope-related studies, visit:
For more information about the U of S Distinguished Researcher Award and previous winners visit:


For more information contact:

Wendy Duggleby
College of Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-6237

Angela Hill
Research Communications
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-6058



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