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Exploring public awareness and perceptions of palliative care: A qualitative study

McIlfatrick, Sonja, Hasson, Felicity, KERNOHAN, WG and Payne, Catherine (2013) Exploring public awareness and perceptions of palliative care: A qualitative study. Palliative Medicine, early . [Journal article]

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URL: http://pmj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/0269216313502372v1

DOI: 10.1177/0269216313502372

Abstract

Background: Research suggests that the public appear to be confused about the meaning of palliative care. Given the ageing population and associated increase in the number of patients requiring palliative care, it is vital to explore the public’s understanding of this concept. Health-promoting palliative care seeks to translate hospice and palliative care ideals into broader public health practice. Aim: To explore public perceptions of palliative care and identify strategies to raise awareness. Design: An exploratory qualitative approach. Participants: Semi-structured telephone interviews were undertaken (N = 50) with members of the public who volunteered to participate in the study. The interviews focused on knowledge and perceptions of palliative care, expectations of palliative care services and the identification of strategies to raise public awareness of palliative care. The interviews were audio recorded and content analysed. Results: Most participants had a general knowledge of palliative care, largely influenced by their own personal experience. They identified that palliative care was about caring for people who were dying and maintaining comfort in the last days of life. Participant’s expectations of services included the following: holistic support, symptom management, good communication and practical support to enable choice and carer support. Key aspects identified for promoting palliative care were the development of understanding and use of the term itself and targeted educational strategies. Conclusion: Experience of palliative care generates understanding in the general public who also have ideas for increasing knowledge and awareness. The findings can inform policymakers about strategies to raise public awareness of palliative care.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Managing Chronic Illness Research Centre
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Person-centred Practice Research Centre
ID Code:27238
Deposited By: Professor Sonja McIlfatrick
Deposited On:24 Sep 2013 07:44
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 14:27

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