Date of Submission



This study explores the experiences of relatives waiting. Often relatives wait for considerably long periods, especially in critical care areas, whilst their loved one, whose health status is unknown, receives care. To explore these experiences and to understand the symbolic meaning behind the participants' stories, a grounded theory approach was utilised which is firmly rooted in the sociological theory of symbolic interactionism. A qualitative approach was employed in order to yield a rich description of the human experience often not found in quantitative studies (Jamerson, Scheibmeir, Bott, Crighton, Hinton and Kuckelman, 1996, p. 468). Similarly, the use of feminist principles to guide this study has facilitated a greater understanding of such issues as gender roles, language, power and hierarchy. Using grounded theory methodology, audio-taped interviews were conducted with six female relatives who were recruited using theoretical sampling. Simultaneous recruitment, data collection, analysis and literature review took place, as advocated and outlined by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss (1967)...


School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


200 pages

Degree Name

Master of Nursing (Research) (MN(Res))


Faculty of Health Sciences