Phenomenological exploration of death doulas in Saskatchewan
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The purpose of this research project was to explore and understand the emerging role, education, skills and services of death doulas in Saskatchewan. A review of the literature was conducted about community-based death care and the emergence of death doulas. A phenomenological research approach was used to interview 8 Saskatchewan death doulas. Commonalities were discussed as emergent themes in the data analysis process. As described by the participants, a death doula is a continuous presence at the end of life, offering non-medical support to empower, educate, advocate and build community around a dying person and their family. The participants also detailed the skills, education, and services provided by death doulas. Systems Theory was used to guide the discussion about the end of life care system in Canada and implications for social work practice.