Background: Patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have difficulty reporting their holistic support needs to health care professionals, undermining delivery of person-centred care. We lack tools that directly support patients with this.
Aim: To develop an evidence-based, designed-for-purpose, tool to enable patients to directly identify and express support needs to health care professionals.
Design: Two-stage qualitative study. Stage 1: domains of support need were identified through a systematic review, analysis of an established qualitative dataset and patient/carer focus groups. Stage 2: draft tool developed using the identified domains of need and then refined through feedback from patients, carers and health care professionals, ensuring acceptability and suitability.
Setting/participants: Stage 1 patients/carers recruited via four primary care practices and two patient support groups (East of England). Stage 2 health care professionals recruited via the Clinical Research Network and local community trust and patients/carers through two further practices and two additional support groups (East of England). In total, 57 patients, carers and health care professionals participated.
Results: A comprehensive set of evidence-based support domains (for example: overcoming boredom or loneliness, knowing what to expect in the future) was identified and formulated into questions. The resulting tool asks patients to consider whether they need more support in 15 broad areas. Patients, carers and clinical stakeholders broadly endorsed the tool’s content and wording.
Conclusion: The Support Needs Approach for Patients (SNAP) tool is a concise evidence-based tool designed to help patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease identify and express their support needs to enable delivery of person-centred care.
The 41-item Comprehensive Assessment Tool for Cancer Caregivers (CNAT-C) is an English language survey for needs assessment developed and validated in South Korean cancer caregivers. The objective of this study was to validate both the English and a translated Chinese version of the CNAT-C in cancer caregivers in Singapore.
This was a cross-sectional survey where cancer caregivers completed the CNAT-C and World Health Organisation Quality-of-life BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) in English or Chinese. Cronbach's alpha was used to measure internal consistency. Convergent validity was assessed using Pearson correlation coefficients between CNAT-C scores and WHOQOL-BREF domains. For known groups validity, independent samples t-test was used to compare CNAT-C scores based on Karnofsky performance status.
There were 161 cancer caregivers - 80 answered the english version and 81 answered the Chinese version. For the English version, 33.8% were male and the lean age was 46.9 years. For the Chinese version, 27.2% were male and the mean age was 52.6 years. The total CNAT-C score and most domain scores showed good internal consistency, low to moderate convergent validity with WHOQOL-BREF domains and good known groups validity with performance status in both the English and Chinese versions. Domain 1 (health and psychological problems) in the Chinese version did not show convergent validity although there was evidence of known groups validity. Domain 5 (religious/spiritual support) also did not show validity in our study sample.
In summary, there was low to moderate convergent validity with the WHOQOL-BREF for both the English and translated Chinese versions. However, both language versions of CNAT-C showed good internal consistency and good known groups validity according to performance status, and both language versions of the CNAT-C can be used to assess the level of unmet needs for cancer caregivers in the Singapore context.
Background: Guidelines on pediatric palliative care recommend to provide care for children and adolescents with life-limiting conditions at home. Since 2007, in Germany, palliative home care can be provided by specialized outpatient palliative care teams. However, teams with specific expertise for children are not available all over the country. Families without this support need to use the hospital to get specialists' assistance.
Objective: To explore how parents of children and adolescents with life-limiting conditions think about the hospital as place of care.
Design: We conducted narrative interviews with parents and analyzed these by using a grounded theory approach.
Setting/Subjects: we interviewed 13 parents (4 fathers and 9 mothers) of 9 children with life-limiting conditions receiving or having received pediatric specialized outpatient palliative care (SOPPC) in Germany.
Results: Parents reported feelings of vulnerability, heteronomy, and disablement associated with hospital care and were afraid that their children's needs were not adequately addressed. These perceptions resulted from hospitals' standardized care structures and over- and undertreatment, a lack of continuity of care, hospital pathogens, a lack of a palliative mindset, insensitive hospital staff, the exclusion of parents from the treatment and parental care of their children, the hospital stay as a permanent state of emergency, and a waste of limited life time.
Conclusion: Pediatric hospital staff needs training in identifying and responding to palliative care needs. SOPPC structures should be expanded all over Germany to meet the needs of families of children with life-limiting conditions.
BACKGROUND: Thirty-five thousand Canadians are homeless on any given night, and mortality rates are much higher than for the general population. Studies have identified barriers to accessing end-of-life care among the homeless, including logistic barriers and experiences of stigma. This study seeks to explore the experience, goals, fears, and hopes surrounding death in the setting of homelessness or vulnerable housing.
METHODS: Qualitative phenomenological study involving focus groups and in-depth interviews with 31 people with lived experience of homelessness. Additional sociodemographic data collected from participants.
FINDINGS: Themes included extensive experience with death and dying, relationship with mortality, ideas for a good death, and desires for end-of-life care. Participants presented suggestions for improving end-of-life care including care that was delivered by people with lived experience of homelessness and substance use; care that was provided either as outreach or in a welcoming, flexible institutional environment; care that minimized stigma and enhanced dignity; and care that respected people's desires to use substances at the end of life.
DISCUSSION: Participants with lived experience of homelessness were articulate in their desires and needs for end-of-life care. They have extensive exposure to mortality and feel that their needs are not met by the current palliative care system. Recommendations for system change that include harm reduction and equity-oriented health care, as well as a combination of outreach and inpatient services, are necessary before palliative care services will be accessible for this population.
Background: There are significant policy imperatives to involve consumers at the outset of and throughout research. How best to achieve this in an authentic and meaningful way is elusive, particularly within the palliative care population.
Aim: To determine how best to engage people with palliative care needs and their families in co-designing a qualitative study to better understand how to improve care of the dying in the acute care setting.
Methods: A case study design informed this work, informed by pre-determined research questions that focused on consumers advising on participant experience within the research, rather than research methodology per se.
Findings: Eleven consumers contributed across five panel meetings. Analysis of documented feedback led to four key areas of protocol change: Getting the language in the recruitment materials and information and consent forms right; Developing a feasible and acceptable recruitment strategy; Opportunities to more clearly articulate the explicit value of this research for patients and families; Support strategies for participants.
Discussion: Authentic consumer engagement requires time and effort; however, the outcomes are well worth the invested time and energy. Key foci outlined within this case study to enhance authenticity included: collaboration; preferencing the consumer voice; adequate preparation to support consumer engagement; and openness to all feedback provided.
Conclusion: Co-designing research with consumers enabled the outcome to be feasible for implementation, without any modifications required. Ensuring relevance and consumer-centredness for the expanding palliative care evidence base is essential and can only be achieved through meaningful partnerships with consumer representatives.
INTRODUCTION: Family caregiver-provider communication is essential to making an effective hospice care transition for patients. Despite the importance of this topic, there is little information about how caregivers in rural US-Mexico border regions navigate hospice care transition and their needs. This study explores the family caregivers' experience relating to their end-of-life (EOL) communication and needs for hospice care transition.
METHODS: In-depth interviews using qualitative methods were conducted with 28 informal caregivers of patients who are enrolled in home hospice care in a rural US-Mexico border region. Thematic analysis was applied to analyze the data.
RESULTS: Qualitative themes that emerged include (1) lack of/insufficient EOL communication and (2) informational needs, including (a) signs of symptom changes, (b) EOL treatment options and goals of care, and (c) hospice care and its benefits. Limited caregiver-provider EOL communication was observed, in which the majority of the caregivers (n = 22, 78.6%) were informed of the patient's terminal condition, but only half (n = 15, 53.6%) had a discussion with the providers about hospice care.
CONCLUSION: Timely EOL communication between caregivers and the providers is key to the patient's optimal transition to hospice care. Providers need to be aware of the caregivers' informational needs relating to patient symptoms and health condition as well as hospice care. It is important to be aware of the impact of cultural values on hospice care placement. A clear explanation about the purpose and functions of hospice care and its benefit can better guide the family caregivers in making hospice care decisions.
Dans le cadre d’une présentation au 8e congrès international du réseau francophone de soins palliatifs pédiatriques à Liège, les auteurs développent une réflexion théorico-clinique sur la fonction du pychologue travaillant auprès d’enfants dont le pronostic vital est menacé. Des entretiens semi-structurés ont été menés auprès des psychologues de liaison de l’Hôpital des Enfants Reine Fabiola à Bruxelles. La réflexion s’articule plus particulièrement autour des difficultés, ressources et besoins des psychologues qui accompagnent les enfants qui risquent de mourir. L’expérience et la formation sont identifiées comme des ressources au même titre que le travail collectif, la solidarité et le lien. Les difficultés concernent certains aspects de la collaboration et de la communication entre soignants. Le cheminement personnel apparaît comme un élément essentiel.
PURPOSE/BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence shows that bereaved family caregivers report elevated distress for an extended period, which compromises their quality of life. A first step in the development of programs to enhance bereaved caregivers' quality of life should be determining the needs they experience to manage the loss, and the needs that are not being satisfied. Thus, this study aimed to develop a new measure to assess unmet needs among bereaved family caregivers.
METHOD: The 20-item Needs Assessment of Family Caregivers-Bereaved to Cancer measure was developed and validated with bereaved cancer caregivers 5 (n = 159) and 8 (n = 194) years after the initial cancer diagnosis of the index patient, when stress in providing care to the patient was assessed.
RESULTS: Exploratory factor analysis yielded two primary factors: unmet needs for reintegration and unmet needs for managing the loss. Bereaved caregivers who were younger and ethnic minority, and who had greater earlier perceived stress of caregiving, reported their needs were more poorly met (t > 2.33, p < .05). The extent to which bereaved caregivers' needs to manage the loss were not perceived as being met was a consistent and strong predictor of poor adjustment to bereavement at both 5- and 8-year marks (t > 1.96, p < .05), beyond the effects of a host of demographic and earlier caregiving characteristics.
CONCLUSION: Findings support the validity of the Needs Assessment of Family Caregivers-Bereaved to Cancer and suggest that interventions to help bereaved caregivers manage the loss by assisting their transition to re-engagement in daily and social activities will benefit caregivers by mitigating bereavement-related distress years after the loss.
BACKGROUND: Most parents vividly recall the weeks, days, and moments preceding their child's death for years to come. Dissatisfaction with communication about their child's condition and lack of guidance can contribute to stress prior to a child's death. Based on findings from a study assessing the degree of preparation bereaved parents received and our collective clinical experience, the authors provide suggestions on end-of-life communication and guidance for parents.
METHODS: Caregivers of a child who died from cancer were invited to complete a 46-item survey through a closed social media (Facebook) group ("Parents who lost children to cancer"). In four months' time, 131 bereaved caregivers completed the survey. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square analyses, and a thematic content analysis framework. The mean age of the child at the time of death was 12.
RESULTS: Approximately 40% of the parents in this study felt unprepared for both the medical problems their child faced and how to respond to their child's emotional needs; fewer than 10% felt very prepared for either. Parents were more likely to feel unprepared when perceived suffering was high, highlighting the critical importance of communication and support from the healthcare team as an adjunct to optimal symptom control.
CONCLUSIONS: Through quantitative and open-ended responses, this study identified specific medical and emotional issues about which parents wanted greater preparation. Future research to evaluate guidance strategies to reduce parental suffering prior to the child's death is needed.
BACKGROUND: In the Netherlands, in 2002, euthanasia became a legitimate medical act, only allowed when the due care criteria and procedural requirements are met. Legally, an Advanced Euthanasia Directive (AED) can replace direct communication if a patient can no longer express his own wishes. In the past decade, an exponential number of persons with dementia (PWDs) share a euthanasia request with their physician. The impact this on physicians, and the consequent support needs, remained unknown. Our objective was to gain more insight into the experiences and needs of Dutch general practitioners and elderly care physicians when handling a euthanasia request from a person with dementia (PWD).
METHODS: We performed a qualitative interview study. Participants were recruited via purposive sampling. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using the conventional thematic content analysis.
RESULTS: Eleven general practitioners (GPs) and elderly care physicians with a variety of experience and different attitudes towards euthanasia for PWD were included. Euthanasia requests appeared to have a major impact on physicians. Difficulties they experienced were related to timing, workload, pressure from and expectations of relatives, society's negative view of dementia in combination with the 'right to die' view, the interpretation of the law and AEDs, ethical considerations, and communication with PWD and relatives. To deal with these difficulties, participants need support from colleagues and other professionals. Although elderly care physicians appreciated moral deliberation and support by chaplains, this was hardly mentioned by GPs.
CONCLUSIONS: Euthanasia requests in dementia seem to place an ethically and emotionally heavy burden on Dutch GPs and elderly care physicians. The awareness of, and access to, existing and new support mechanisms needs further exploration.
Families of dying children are profoundly impacted by numerous interactions with health-care providers before, during, and after their child’s death. However, there is a dearth of research on these families’ direct, qualitative experiences with health-care providers. This study presents findings from interviews with 18 family members, predominantly parents, regarding their experiences with health-care providers during a child’s terminal illness, from diagnosis to death. The importance of compassion emerged as a salient theme, manifested in myriad ways, and connected to participants’ perception of caregiver presence in multiple domains. Families were likewise negatively affected by a wide variety of situations and behaviors that represented individual or institutional abandonment or nonpresence, and thus compounded the experience of loss. Specifics and implications for practice are explored.
Aims: Families were interviewed as a quality improvement assessment for palliative and supportive care services for children.
Methods: This exploratory qualitative study of family members of children with cancer was conducted at an academic hospital in central South Africa and a grounded theory approach was used. Face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured interview guide were conducted with 16 family members of 16 children.
Findings: Parents felt supported by the healthcare professionals who were caring for their child, but several shortcomings were identified. These included erratic psychosocial support, minimal financial support and poor parental access to basic needs and food provision, preventable errors in procedures and a lack of support available for siblings. It is also worth noting that healthcare professionals did not always seem sufficiently equipped to attend to palliative care patients.
Conclusion: Strategies to improve supportive and palliative care are needed for children with cancer and their families in a hospital setting. The interviews identified a number of themes and current shortcomings that should be considered to improve services.
OBJECTIVES: For patients' entire families, it can be challenging to live with cancer during the palliative stage. However, a sense of coherence buffers stress and could help health professionals identify families that require support. Therefore, the short version of the Family Sense of Coherence Scale (FSOC-S) was translated, culturally adapted, and validated in a Swedish sample.
METHODS: Translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the FSOC-S into Swedish was conducted in accordance with the World Health Organization's Process for Translation and Adaptation of Research Instruments guidelines. Participants were recruited from two oncology clinics and two palliative centers in Sweden.
RESULTS: Content validity was supported by experts (n = 7), persons with cancer (n = 179), and family members (n = 165). Homogeneity among items was satisfactory for persons with cancer and family members (item-total correlations were 0.45 0.70 and 0.55 0.72, respectively) as well as internal consistency (ordinal alpha = 0.91 and 0.91, respectively). Factor analyses supported unidimensionality. FSOC-S correlated (rs > 0.3) with hope, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, which supported convergent validity. The test-retest reliability for items ranged between fair and good (kw = 0.37 0.61).
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The FSOC-S has satisfactory measurement properties to assess family sense of coherence in persons with cancer and their family members. FSOC-S could be used to identify family members who experience low levels of perceived family sense of coherence which provides health care professionals with insight into families' needs and ability to live with cancer in the palliative stage.
AIM: This study aimed to develop a "family caregiver needs-assessment scale for end-of-life care for senility at home" (FADE) and examine its reliability and validity.
METHOD: A draft item pool was developed based on a literature review, and simplified to 30 items in four domains. Next, the item pool was reviewed by four visiting nurses and four researchers and refined to 15 items. A cross-sectional study was then conducted using a self-reported questionnaire. Questionnaires were sent to 2703 visiting nurses. The survey questions included participants' basic demographic information, the importance of each item according to a modified scale, basic demographics for cases of death by senility at home, satisfaction with each item of the modified scale in an example case, and assessment of the case using the Japanese version of the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS-J). Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Construct validity was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis, and correlation between the new scale and the STAS-J was used to assess criterion-related validity.
RESULTS: In total, 461 visiting nurses provided valid responses. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified 12 items from two factors: "Needs for adaptation to senility bereavement" and "Needs for essential skills in supporting a dignified death by senility." The final model showed appropriate index values: standardized root mean residual = 0.057, Tucker-Lewis index = 0.920, Akaike information criterion = 191.6, and Bayesian information criterion = 298.2. Cronbach's alpha for the entire scale was 0.908, and was above 0.840 for each factor. The correlation coefficient between STAS-J and the entire scale was 0.259-0.427 (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The FADE scale showed acceptable internal consistency and concurrent validity. The scale can help clarify issues and desires that present themselves at home related to adaptation to senility bereavement and essential skills in supporting a dignified death by senility. Addressing these issues and desires is expected to reduce caregivers' anxiety and burden, and means the older adults under their care may be respected and enabled to live with dignity and peace.
As interns, new doctors care for the dying or others who have palliative care (PC) needs. Undergraduate medical students need to learn about PC Up to half of newly qualified doctors are underprepared for end of life issues and many feel it is a source of distress. Medical students value palliative education but many feel training is deficient.
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BACKGROUND: Being terminally ill affects not only the life of patients but also that of their loved ones. Dyads of adult children and their parents at the end of life may face specific challenges with regard to their relationship and interactions that need to be further examined.
AIM: The aim was to identify, describe and summarise available evidence on adult child-parent interaction and psychosocial support needs at the end of life. Research gaps in the existing literature are disclosed and recommendations for future research are presented.
DESIGN: A type 4 scoping review according to Arksey and O'Malley's (2005) methodological framework was conducted. The review includes studies regardless of study design and provides a descriptive account of foci of available research.
DATA SOURCES: The PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Google Scholar and Web of Science databases were searched from inception to 16 August 2018. An additional hand search was conducted. A highly sensitive search strategy was employed to cover all potentially relevant results.
RESULTS: The authors screened 1832 records by title and abstract, retrieved 216 full-text articles and included 15 studies from the database search. One study was identified by way of hand search. The review identified six major themes: (1) adult child-parent relationship, (2) adult child-parent communication, (3) involvement in caregiving, (4) benefit and burden of caregiving, (5) coping strategies and (6) support and information for caregivers.
CONCLUSIONS: The scoping review accentuates the paucity of studies that address both patients' and their parent/adult child caregivers' relationship, interaction and psychosocial support needs.
Background: Spirituality is important for many family members of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Clinicians without training in spiritual care experience difficulty identifying when family members are experiencing distress of a spiritual nature.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop a guide to help clinicians working in the ICU identify family members who may benefit from specialized spiritual support.
Design: ross-sectional study.
Setting/Subjects: A national sample of spiritual health practitioners, family members, and ICU clinicians.
Subjects: A panel of 21 spiritual health practitioners participated in a modified Delphi process to achieve consensus on items that suggest spiritual distress among family members of patients in the ICU through three rounds of remote review followed by an in-person conference and a final round of panelist feedback. Feedback on the final set of items was obtained from an end-user group of four family members and six ICU clinicians.
Measurements: A total of 220 items were iteratively reviewed and rated by panelists. Forty-six items were identified as essential for inclusion and developed into a clinical guide, including an introduction (n = 1), definitions (n = 2), risk factors (n = 10), expressed concerns (n = 12), emotions (n = 7) and behaviors (n = 7) that may suggest spiritual distress, questions to identify spiritual needs (n = 6), and introducing spiritual support (n = 1).
Conclusions: We have developed an evidence-informed clinical guide that may help clinicians in the ICU identify family members experiencing spiritual distress.
Illness blogs have been used by many individuals to describe their experiences, share knowledge, and gather support. The purpose of this study was to identify needs, concerns, and advice from the blogs of caregivers caring for a person with dementia at the end of life (EOL). A qualitative thematic analysis was performed of 192 blog postings from six dementia family caregivers during the EOL. A Google search using a systematic identification method was followed. Caregivers were females caring for mothers (n = 5) and husbands (n = 1). Themes varied by EOL stage within the contextual environment of Grief/Loss, Family, and Spirituality. Pre-death themes were Care Transitions and Quality; dying were Physical and Emotional Aspects; and post-death were Relief and Remembering. Four additional themes transitioned across stages: Decision-Making, Health Care Providers, Advice, and Caregiver Support. Findings suggest caregiver needs, concerns, and advice vary by EOL stage. Implications for tailored interventions should be considered.
Peu de recherches ont porté sur les profils et les préoccupations de santé parmi les hommes homosexuels et bisexuels vieillissants. Dans le cadre d’une enquête en ligne pancanadienne, 411 répondants âgés de 55 ans et plus ont répondu à un questionnaire portant sur l’évaluation de ces deux problématiques. Les résultats montrent que les écarts avec la population hétérosexuelle du même groupe d’âge se situent en particulier dans le champ de la santé mentale, où les problèmes sont plus prononcés, des différences qui se retrouvent aussi entre les 55-64 ans et les 64 ans et plus dans notre échantillon. Ces résultats peuvent contribuer à développer des interventions mieux ciblées visant à favoriser le bien-vieillir parmi ces minorités sexuelles.