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Family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care in the acute hospital setting : A qualitative study

Family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care in the acute hospital setting : A qualitative study


Title: Family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care in the acute hospital setting : A qualitative study
Author: Robertson, Svala Berglind
Hjörleifsdóttir, Elísabet
Sigurðardóttir, Þórhalla
Date: 2021-08-12
Language: English
Scope:
School: School of Health Sciences
Series: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences; ()
ISSN: 0283-9318
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.13025
Subject: Dauði; Sjúkrahús; Aðstandendur; acute hospital settings; bereavement; communication; end-of-life care; environment; family caregivers; grief; palliative care
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2876

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Citation:

Robertson , S B , Hjörleifsdóttir , E & Sigurðardóttir , Þ 2021 , ' Family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care in the acute hospital setting : A qualitative study ' , Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences . https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.13025

Abstract:

Background: 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 environ-ment 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.

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