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Assessing palliative care needs: views of patients, informal carers and healthcare professionals

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

McIlfatrick, Sonja (2007) Assessing palliative care needs: views of patients, informal carers and healthcare professionals. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 57 (1). pp. 77-86. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118486806/abstract

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.04062.x

Abstract

Aim. This paper reports a study to assess the palliative care needs of the adult population served by a healthcare provider organization in Northern Ireland from the perspectives of patients, informal carers and healthcare providers. Background. Assessing palliative care need is a key factor for health service planning. Traditionally, palliative care has been associated with end-of-life care and cancer. More recently, the concept has been extended to include care for both cancer and non-cancer populations. Various approaches have been advocated for assessing need, including the exploration of professional provider and user perspectives of need. Method. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were undertaken with a purposive sample of patients and lay carers receiving palliative care services (n = 24). Focus groups were also conducted with multi-professional palliative care providers (n = 52 participants) and face to face interviews were undertaken with key managerial stakeholders in the area (n = 7). The focus groups and interviews concentrated on assessment of palliative care need. All the interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Burnard's framework. Findings. Professional providers experienced difficulty in defining the term palliative care. Difficulties in communication and information exchange, and fragmented co-ordination between services were identified. The main areas of need identified by all participants were social and psychological support; financial concerns; and the need for choice and information. All participants considered that there was inequity between palliative care service provision for patients with cancer and non-cancer diseases. Conclusion. All patients, regardless of diagnosis, should be able to access palliative care appropriate to their individual needs. For this to happen in practice, an integrated approach to palliative care is essential. The study methodology confirms the value of developing a comprehensive approach to assessing palliative care need.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Managing Chronic Illness
ID Code:6581
Deposited By:Dr Sonja McIlfatrick
Deposited On:03 Feb 2010 12:40
Last Modified:23 Jul 2012 15:03

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