Chantal Cara, RN, PHD, FAAN
Faculty of Nursing
Université de Montréal
Dr. Chantal Cara is currently a full professor at the Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada. She received her BSN and MSN from the Université de Montréal and her Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Colorado, under the directorship of Dr. Jean Watson. For more than 25 years, she has been actively involved in the advancement of caring science. Dr. Cara’s teaching, research activities, and publications are aimed to promoting a caring approach with chronically ill and rehabilitation patients, organizational and health care humanization, as well as methods of caring inquiry and pedagogy. She recently co-authored, with her teaching colleagues, nursing directors, and graduate students, a humanistic model, inspired by Watson’s work. This model is now used as a foundation for the Université de Montréal’s Curriculum and as a guideline for some of Montreal’s hospitals. Dr. Cara also served for several years as a board member to the International Association of Human Caring and consulted several French international universities (e.g.: Belgium, Lebanon, and Switzerland…) in facilitating the understanding and application of caring science in daily practice.
Other research/papers related to various Human Caring Theory projects in Québec and Switzerland:
Cara, C., O’Reilly, L., & Delmas, P. (2018). Feasibility, acceptability and benefits of a humanistic educational intervention: A qualitative secondary analysis of two datasets (Quebec and Switzerland). International Journal for Human Caring, 22(3), 98-114.
A French-language humanistic educational intervention aimed at strengthening nurses’ caring attitudes and behaviors was first developed in Quebec, with rehabilitation nurses, and then used in Switzerland, with hemodialysis nurses. In both projects, phenomenological interviews explored the feasibility, acceptability, and benefits of this intervention. This article presents the results of a secondary analysis of both datasets regarding its convergence and divergence. A strong thematic convergence underlined that nurses adopted a shared language with respect to caring and reinforced their humanistic clinical practices. Consequently, such intervention could prove itself useful in fostering a more humanist nursing practice within today challenging healthcare system.
Delmas, P., O’reilly, L., Cara, C., Brousseau, S., Weidmann, J., Roulet-Schwab, D., Ledoux, I., Pasquier, J., Antonini, M., Bellier-Teichmann, T. (2018). Effects on nurses’ quality of working life and on patients’ quality of life of an educational intervention to strengthen humanistic practice among hemodialysis nurses in Switzerland: A protocol for a mixed-methods cluster randomized controlled trial. BMC Nursing, 17(47), 1-11.
Humanistic nursing practice constitutes the cornerstone of the nursing profession. However, according to some authors, such practice tends to fade over time in favour of non-humanistic behaviours. To contrast this tendency, an educational intervention (EI) based on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring was developed and tested in two pilot studies involving, respectively, rehabilitation nurses in Quebec (Canada) and haemodialysis (HD) nurses in Switzerland. In light of the positive results obtained in these, another study is being undertaken to examine more in depth the EI’s effects on both HD nurses and patients in French Switzerland. The EI is expected to have positive effects on quality of nurse-patient relationship (NPR), team cohesion, nurse quality of working life (QoWL), and patient quality of life (QoL).
Delmas, P., O’Reilly, L., Iglesias, K., Cara, C., & Burnier, M. (2016). Feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effects of an educational intervention to strengthen humanistic practice among haemodialysis nurses in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland: A pilot study. International Journal for Human Caring, 20(1), 31-43.
A mixed-design pilot study was undertaken to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of an educational intervention based on the theory of human caring delivered to hemodialysis (HD) nurses in Switzerland. Participants were 9 nurses and 22 patients undergoing HD. Results showed that the proposed intervention had a high level of feasibility and acceptability. Following the intervention, participating nurses consolidated their caring attitudes/behaviours toward patients undergoing HD. The patients, for their part, perceived significant changes in the nurses’ caring attitudes/behaviours following the intervention. Further research is needed to examine its effects on a larger population of nurses and patients.
O’Reilly, L., Cara, C., & Delmas, P. (2016). Developing an educational intervention to strengthen the humanistic practices of hemodialysis nurses in Switzerland. International Journal for Human Caring, 20(1), 24-30.
An educational intervention was developed based on Watson’s theory of human caring and dispensed to hemodialysis (HD) nurses in Nyon, Switzerland. HD patients point out that human contact with nurses can become therapeutic when characterized by caring. Research has documented the importance of the contribution of such caring practice to the rehabilitation of patients living with a chronic illness. This initiative supports the relevance of exploring humanistic caring practice in order to contribute to the rehabilitation of HD patients. The article presents the principal stages of the theoretical development of the educational intervention.