Background: Understanding end-of-life (EOL) and palliative care continues to grow. However, little attention has been paid to the experiences, preferences, and needs of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) women. While some universal expectations or preferences at EOL exist, this population may not receive adequate or appropriate attention or reporting of unique EOL issues and experiences.
Objective: Systematically search for and narratively review existing evidence concerning the expectations, preferences, and needs for palliative and EOL care of LGBTQ older women.
Design: A comprehensive literature review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Articles reporting needs, experiences, and perspectives of palliative care and EOL care among LGBTQ older women were evaluated.
Measurements: Articles published between 1996 and 2019 were retrieved from PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Academic Search Complete, AgeLine, CINHAL, PubMed, LGBT Life, SocINDEX, Women's Studies International, Joanna Briggs Institute, and Open Grey.
Results: A total of 16 articles were included. Articles described several concerns for the overall LGBTQ population; however, additional issues and experiences specific to older LGBTQ women were also identified, including vulnerability associated with isolation and poverty, women's social needs and support networks, and preferences for complementary care.
Conclusion: There remains a need for further research with older LGBTQ women concerning palliative and EOL care, particularly around preparation for EOL and preferences for support. Inclusion of diverse populations in terms of sexual and gender identification are needed to fully understand how to provide appropriate and preferred support.