Huguette Le Gall, accompagnante JALMALV 35, évoque les demandes d'accompagnement de deuil lorsque la situation est atypique. Une fratrie qui n'a pas fait le deuil d'un frère qui s'est suicidé il y a 30 ans, une autre qui pleure un sportif qui n'est jamais revenu d'une expédition, autant de situations qu'il faut comprendre et accompagner avec des rites funéraires mémoriaux.
Les pompes funèbres ont une place prépondérante dans l'organisation des obsèques. Ce sont elles qui assurent la mise en scène des funérailles et leur organisation. Sur le fait d'accompagner les singularités, c'est relativement récent et puisque nous sommes dans une société d'individus, les rites funéraires contemporains célèbrent l'individu. Les pompes funèbres sont donc depuis longtemps des faiseurs de rites mais elles cherchent désormais aussi à proposer des rites à la carte, plus personnalisés en fonction des choix du défunt et des familles.
André, un vieil homme irascible, tente de lutter contre la maladie d'Alzheimer. Hanté par des souvenirs qui s'effilochent, il reçoit le soutien de sa fille Anne, désemparée par son caractère et sa condition.
BACKGROUND: Communication about the end of life is especially important in the family context, as patients and their families are considered as the care unit in palliative care. Open end-of-life communication can positively affect medical, psychological and relational outcomes during the dying process for patient and family. Regardless of the benefits of end-of-life conversations, many patients and their family caregivers speak little about relevant end-of-life issues.
AIM: To identify barriers that hinder or influence the discussion of end-of-life issues in the family context.
DESIGN: A systematic mixed-method review according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines.
DATA SOURCES: A systematic search of PsycInfo, CINAHL, PubMed and Web of Science was conducted and extended with a hand search. Peer-reviewed primary studies reporting on the barriers to or difficulties in end-of-life conversations experienced by terminally ill patients and/or family caregivers were included in this review.
RESULTS: 18 qualitative and two quantitative studies met the inclusion criteria. The experiences of n=205 patients and n=738 family caregivers were analysed qualitatively; n=293 patients and n=236 caregivers were surveyed in the questionnaire studies. Five overarching categories emerged from the extracted data: emotional, cognitive, communicative, relational and external processes can hinder end-of-life communication within the family. The most frequently reported barriers are emotional and cognitive processes such as protective buffering or belief in positive thinking.
CONCLUSIONS: Research on end-of-life communication barriers in the family context is scarce. Further research should enhance the development of appropriate assessment tools and interventions to support families with the challenges experienced regarding end-of-life conversations.
OBJECTIVES: Family meetings (FMs) between clinicians, patients and family are recommended as a valuable communication and care planning method in the delivery of palliative care. However, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding FM characteristics, with few studies describing the prevalence, circumstances and content of FMs. The aims of this study were to: (1) measure the prevalence of FMs, (2) examine circumstance and timing of FMs, and (3) explore the content of FMs.
METHODS: A retrospective medical record audit was conducted of 200 patients who died in an Australian hospital of an expected death from advanced disease. Details of FMs were collected using an audit tool, along with patient demographics and admission data.
RESULTS: 33 patients (16.5%) had at least one FM during their inpatient stay. The majority of FMs occurred for patients admitted to an inpatient palliative care unit (59.5%) and were most commonly facilitated by doctors (81.0%). Patient attendance was frequent (40.5%). FM content fell into six categories: medical information, supportive communication behaviours of clinicians, psychosocial support for patients and families, end-of-life discussions, discharge planning and administrative arrangements.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the benefits FMs confer, FMs appear to be infrequently used at the end of life. When FMs are used, there is a strong medical focus on both facilitation and content. Available FM documentation tools also appear to be underused. Clinicians are encouraged to have a greater understanding of FMs to optimise their use and adopt a proactive and structured approach to the conduct and documentation of FMs.
Jahi McMath's story has been an important reference in medicine and ethics as the landscape of the understanding of death by neurologic criteria is shifting, with families actively questioning the once-firm criterion. Palliative care providers have a role in seeking understanding and collaborating with families and clinical teams to navigate the many challenges that arise when a medical team has determined that a child has died, and their parents disagree. In this case-based narrative discussion we consider the complexity of the family experience of brain death.
End-of-life decision-making is an important area of research, and few sociological studies have considered family grief in light of end-of-life decision-making in the hospital. Drawing on in-depth interviews with family members in the intensive care unit (ICU) during an end-of-life hospitalization and into their bereavement period up to six months after the death of the patient, this article examines bereaved family members' experiences of grief by examining three aspects from the end-of-life hospitalization and decision-making in the ICU that informed their subsequent bereavement experiences. First, this article explores how the process of advance care planning (ACP) shaped family experiences of grief, by demonstrating that even prior informal conversations around end-of-life care outside of having an advance directive in the hospital was beneficial for family members both during the hospitalization and afterwards in bereavement. Second, clinicians' compassionate caring for both patients and families through the "little things" or small gestures were important to families during the end-of-life hospitalization and afterwards in bereavement. Third, the transition time in the hospital before the patient's death facilitated family experiences of grief by providing a sense of support and meaning in bereavement. The findings have implications for clinicians who provide end-of-life care by highlighting salient aspects from the hospitalization that may shape family grief following the patient's death. Most importantly, the notion that ACP as a social process may be a "gift" to families during end-of-life decision-making and carry through into bereavement can serve as a motivator to engage patients in ACP.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic determined the need for extreme measures of social distancing, thus family members’ visits are not allowed for hospitalized patients and communication can take place only by phone calls or, in some cases, by the use of video calls. During this period, amongst the requests emerged from the families of our patients, we were challenged in particular by one wife of a dying patient wishing to see him one last time.
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BACKGROUND: Despite evidence that family members' support to each other can be of importance to its members, there are limited studies of factors related to family members' sense of such support during palliative care.
AIM: Based on the family systems approach, we evaluated which factors were associated with family members' sense of support within their closest family in a palliative home care context and developed a model that predicts such sense of support.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional design was used. We interviewed 209 adult family members (69% of eligible) of adult patients with expected short survival receiving palliative home care.
METHODS: Generalised linear models were used to evaluate individual factors related to family members' sense of support within their closest family during palliative care. The Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) was applied in the model-building analyses.
RESULTS: Nineteen variables were identified that were significantly associated with the family members' sense of support within the closest family. Model building selected six variables for predicting this sense of support (decreasing Wald values): family member perceiving support from other more distant family members; feeling secure with the provided palliative home care; possibility of respite if family member needed a break; family member living alone; being a child of the patient (inverse relationship); perceiving that the patient was supported by other family members.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support clinical application of the Family Systems Theory in the context of palliative care. The factors identified may be of value in assisting practitioners in detecting and treating family members sensing a low level of support within the closest family.
OBJECTIVE: Palliative care providers may face questions from patients and relatives regarding the heritability of cancers. Implications of such discussions for providers have been little explored. This study aimed to gather palliative care providers' views on their main needs, roles, and ethical concerns regarding cancer family history discussions.
METHOD: The palliative care providers who participated in the 2015 and 2017 annual meetings of the Quebec Palliative Care Association were approached to complete a web-based questionnaire. Study participants answered the questionnaire between November 2016 and July 2017. They were asked to identify the most facilitating factor for cancer family history discussions, as well as their most important knowledge needs, potential role, and ethical concerns. Descriptive analyses were conducted.
RESULTS: Ninety-four palliative care providers answered the questionnaire. Access to specialized resources to obtain information and protocols or guidelines were considered the most facilitating factors for cancer family history discussions by 32% and 20% of providers, respectively. Knowledge of hereditary cancers was the most relevant educational need for 53%. Thirty-eight per cent considered essential to be informed about their rights and duties regarding cancer family history discussions. Being attentive to patients' concerns and referring families to appropriate resources were identified as the most relevant roles for palliative care providers by 47% and 34% of respondents, respectively. Fifty-eight per cent agreed that cancer family history discussions should be initiated only if beneficial to family members.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Education on hereditary cancers made consensus among palliative care providers as the most important knowledge need regarding discussing cancer family history at the end of life. Nonetheless, other less commonly expressed needs, including access to genetics specialists, protocols, or guidelines, and awareness of provider rights and duties concerning such discussions, deserve attention. Answering providers' needs might help optimize cancer predisposition management in palliative care.
OBJECTIVE: This qualitative study sought to obtain feedback from stakeholder cancer caregivers and bereaved family members on the implementation of bereavement risk screening in oncology.
METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 38 family members of patients with advanced cancer (n=12) and bereaved family members (n=26) on when and how to effectively implement bereavement risk screening. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Many participants indicated that they would be open to completing a self-report screening measure before and after the patient's death. Several suggested screening at multiple timepoints and the importance of follow-up. Participants viewed screening as an opportunity to connect to psychosocial support.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that family members appear supportive of sensitively-approached bereavement risk screening before and after a patient's death as an important component of quality psychosocial care. To optimize implementation, bereavement risk screening would involve screening at multiple timepoints and include follow-up. Findings suggest standardized risk screening using a brief, validated self-report tool would be a pragmatic approach to increasing access to bereavement care.
BACKGROUND: The supportive hospice aged residential exchange (SHARE) is a new model of palliative care education that has been designed for residential aged care. The goal of SHARE is to help clinical staff improve palliative care within residential aged care facilities and to improve specialist palliative care nurses' knowledge and skill to care for frail older people.
METHOD: The experiences of 18 bereaved families concerning the palliative care journey (both at the start and finish of a one-year implementation of SHARE) were explored using semi-structured interviews.
RESULTS: Three themes were important to bereaved families' experience: communication with staff, systems of care, and hospice involvement. Sub-themes indicating changes in these three components of care between the start and finish of SHARE was identified. A fourth theme highlighted challenges (relationship with GP, staff shortages, and turnover) that continued across SHARE.
CONCLUSION: Findings indicated that SHARE benefited families (improved communication and support) through the end of life journey of their relatives, but challenges remained.
A 11 ans, Halla perd sa soeur jumelle. Les cendres de la défunte sont ensevelies par ses parents qui annoncent à Halla qu’ils veulent planter un arbre à cet endroit. Mais la fillette, qui perd ainsi son alter ego et son miroir, est dévastée. Sa mère devient distante et froide et son père ne la comprend pas. Elle apprend seule à vivre avec cette absence.
CONTEXT: Advance care planning (ACP) is vital for end-of-life care management. Experiences as informal family caregivers might act as a catalyst to promote ACP.
OBJECTIVES: We investigated the association between ACP discussions and caregiving experiences.
METHODS: A nationwide survey in Japan was conducted in December 2016 using a quota sampling method to select a sample representative of the general Japanese population. The responses of 3167 individuals aged 20-84 years (mean age: 50.9 ± 16.8) were analyzed. The outcome was measured by asking if respondents had ever engaged in ACP discussions. The exposure was measured by asking whether and for how long respondents had experience as informal caregivers for family members. We analyzed informal caregiving experience related to the occurrence of ACP discussions using multivariable logistic regression models that adjusted for possible covariates.
RESULTS: Respondents with informal caregiving experience had significantly higher odds of having ACP discussions than those without caregiving experience (adjusted odds ratio: 1.93, 95% CI [1.63, 2.29]). Stronger effects were identified in younger adults (aged 20-65 years) and those with a higher education level (education duration > 12 years) than in older adults (aged = 65 years) and those with a lower education level, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Experiences as informal caregivers for family members may facilitate ACP discussions among Japanese adults, especially younger adults with higher educational attainment. Our findings may help healthcare providers screen those at risk for inadequate ACP discussions, and informal caregiving experience should be considered when healthcare providers initiate discussions of end-of-life care.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to synthesise the available evidence surrounding the structure, processes and outcomes of family meetings in the paediatric palliative care literature.
METHODS: We undertook an integrative literature review informed by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42019138938). Electronic databases were systematically search using keywords and hand searching of reference articles and grey literature was also completed.
RESULTS: Ten empirical studies and five theoretical articles were included in the synthesis. Empirical studies provided more information about meeting structure, whereas theoretical articles more frequently described a desired process for planning and undertaking meetings. No articles identified how the success of a meeting was defined or made recommendations for doing so. Despite reports that family meetings are commonly occurring, few articles described outcomes from either the family or clinician perspectives.
CONCLUSIONS: Family meetings are essential communication strategies commonly used in paediatric palliative care, yet there is little guidance about how meetings should be organised and conducted, who should participate and when they should occur. The limited data available on the outcomes of family meetings suggest improvements are required to meet the needs of families. We present a framework that synthesises the available evidence. The framework offers an overview of the elements to consider when planning for and undertaking family meetings in paediatric palliative care and may be useful for both clinicians and researchers.
BACKGROUND: Despite increased annual mortality in long-term care (LTC) homes, research has shown that care of dying residents and their families is currently suboptimal in these settings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate resident and family outcomes associated with the Strengthening a Palliative Approach in LTC (SPA-LTC) program, developed to help encourage meaningful end of life discussions and planning.
METHODS: The study employs a mixed method design in four LTC homes across Southern Ontario. Data were collected from residents and families of the LTC homes through chart reviews, interviews, and focus groups. Interviews with family who attended a Palliative Care Conference included both closed-ended and open-ended questions.
RESULTS: In total, 39 residents/families agreed to participate in the study. Positive intervention outcomes included a reduction in the proportion of emergency department use at end of life and hospital deaths for those participating in SPA-LTC, improved support for families, and increased family involvement in the care of residents. For families who attended a Palliative Care Conference, both quantitative and qualitative findings revealed that families benefited from attending them. Residents stated that they appreciated learning about a palliative approach to care and being informed about their current status.
CONCLUSIONS: The benefits of SPA-LTC for residents and families justify its continued use within LTC. Study results also suggest that certain enhancements of the program could further promote future integration of best practices within a palliative approach to care within the LTC context. However, the generalizability of these results across LTC homes in different regions and countries is limited given the small sample size.
BACKGROUND: Care for people with progressive illness should be person-centred and account for their cultural values and spiritual beliefs. There are an estimated 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide, largely living in low-and middle-income countries.
AIMS: This study aimed to identify, appraise, and integrate the evidence for the experiences and preferences of Muslim patients/families for end-of-life care in Muslim-majority countries
DESIGN: Systematic review DATA SOURCES: PsychoINFO, MEDLINE, Embase, Global Health, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and Registry of Clinical Trials Trial, Pubmed, ASSIA, Social Services Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, Social Policy & Practice, and Scopus were searched until December 2018. Handsearching was performed, and grey literature, included. Qualitative studies analysed using thematic analysis and quantitative component provided triangulation.
RESULTS: The initial search yielded n=5,098 papers, of which n=30 met the inclusion criteria. A total of 5,342 participants (4,345 patients, 81.3%) were included; 97.6% had advanced cancer. The majority (n = 22) of studies were quantitative. Three themes and sub-themes from qualitative studies were identified using thematic analysis: selflessness (burden to others and caregiver responsibilities), ambivalence (hope and hopelessness) and strong beliefs in Islam (beliefs in death and afterlife, closeness to Allah). Qualitative studies reported triangulation; demonstrating conflicts in diagnosis disclosure and total pain burden experienced by both patients and families.
CONCLUSION: Despite the scarce evidence of relatively low quality, the analysis revealed core themes. To achieve palliative care for all in line with the 'total pain' model, beliefs must be identified and understood in relation to decision-making processes and practices.
Research results suggest that illness can undermine patients' dignity and that dignity can be understood as an experience formed in communion with others. The aim of this study was, therefore, to illuminate the meanings of lived experiences of dignity as an intersubjective phenomenon from the perspective of dyads in palliative care. The authors analyzed transcripts from interviews with nine dyads using a phenomenological-hermeneutical method. Within the contexts of the dyadic relationship and the dyadic-health care professional relationship, the authors' interpretation revealed two meanings based on the participants' lived experiences: "Being available," related to responding and being responded to in terms of answerability and we-ness, and "Upholding continuity," linked to feeling attached through the maintenance of emotional bonds and being connected through upholding valued activities and qualities in daily living. The authors further reflected on the meanings in relation to philosophically grounded concepts such as presence, objectification, dependence, and dyadic body.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents unique challenges to those who work with the seriously ill population, including both health care providers and the family caregivers providing unpaid care. We rely on this lay workforce as health care routinely transitions care to the home, and now more than ever, we are depending on them in the current pandemic. As palliative care and other health care providers become overwhelmed with patients critically ill with COVID-19, and routine care becomes delayed, we have a charge to recognize and work with family caregivers. Our commentary provides rationale for the need to focus on family caregivers and key considerations for how to include them in pandemic clinical decision making.