Family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care in the acute hospital setting. A qualitative study.
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CitationRobertson SB, Hjörleifsdóttir E, Sigurðardóttir Þ. Family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care in the acute hospital setting. A qualitative study [published online ahead of print, 2021 Aug 12]. Scand J Caring Sci. 2021;10.1111/scs.13025. doi:10.1111/scs.13025
AbstractBackground: Acute hospital settings are generally not considered adequate places for end-of-life care, but terminally ill patients will continue to die in acute medical wards in the unforeseeable future. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care in an acute community hospital in Iceland. Methods: Fifteen in-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who had been primary caregivers. The transcribed interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis. Findings: Findings indicated that the acute hospital setting is not a suitable environment for end-of-life care. Effective communication and management of symptoms characterised by warmth and security give a sense of resilience. Three main themes emerged: (1) Environmental influences on quality of care; (2) Communication in end-of-life care; (3) The dying process. Each of the themes encompassed a variety of subthemes. Conclusions: Findings suggest that effective communication is the cornerstone of quality of care in the acute hospital environment and essential for establishing a sense of security. The severity of symptoms can deeply affect family caregivers' well-being. Acknowledging and appreciating the meaning of respect and dignity at the end-of-life from family caregivers' perspective is vital. Keywords: acute hospital settings; bereavement; communication; end-of-life care; environment; family caregivers; grief; palliative care.
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Rights© 2021 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic College of Caring Science.
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