Dealing with death and bereavement in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic will present significant challenges for at least the next three months. The current situation does not allow for families andbcommunities to be involved in the process of death in ways in which they would normally hope or expect to be. In addition, mortality rates will disproportionately affect vulnerable households. The government has identified the following communities as being at increased risk: single parent households; multi-generational Black and Minority Ethnic groups; men without degrees in lone households and/or in precarious work; small family business owners in their 50s; and elderlyhouseholds. Our study focused on these groups. This report presents a summary of findings and key recommendations by a team of anthropologists from the London School of Economics who conducted a public survey and 58 cross-community interviews between 3 and 9 April 2020. It explores ways to prepare these communities and households for impending deaths with communications and policy support. More information on the research methodology, data protection and ethical procedures is available in Appendix 1. A summary of relevant existing research can be found in Appendix 2. A list of key contacts across communities for consultation is available on request. Research was focused on “what a good death looks like” for people across all faiths and for vulnerable groups. It examined how communities were already adapting how they dealt with processes of dying, burials, funerals and bereavement during the pandemic, and responding to new government regulations. It specifically focused on five transitions in the process of death, and what consultation processes, policies and communications strategies could be mobilised to support communities through these phases.
Stroke survivors often experience life-altering functional and cognitive changes and burdensome symptoms. Palliative care could provide additional support to improve outcomes of stroke patients and their families. The purpose of this review was to describe how palliative care is conceptualized and implemented within stroke care.
An integrative review of the literature published between 1990 and 2016 using the terms “palliative care,” “stroke,” or “acute stroke” was conducted. Of the 363 articles identified, 44 were screened, 21 met inclusion criteria, and 2 additional articles were identified through reference list review, resulting in a final sample of 23 articles.
Palliative care was predominantly understood as end-of-life care and was most commonly offered in acute stages when patients were expected to die. Patients, families, and providers reported challenges surrounding decision making, uncertainty regarding transitions to palliative care, and needs related to communication and physical and psychosocial support. The quality of the research was moderate to good but was limited by retrospective designs, reliability of data collection procedures and tools, recall bias, and generalizability.
This review highlights gaps in access to palliative care throughout the illness trajectory and underscores the need for study of models that integrate palliative care into stroke care.