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What is palliative care?: Perceptions of healthcare professionals
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences. (Ctr Collaborat Palliat Care)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1487-4713
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences. (Ctr Collaborat Palliat Care)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-4056
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0895-674X
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences. (Ctr Collaborat Palliat Care)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3155-575x
2019 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 77-84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Despite increased attention and knowledge in palliative care, there is still confusion concerning how to interpret the concept of palliative care and implement it in practice. This can result in difficulties for healthcare professionals in identifying patients whom would benefit from palliative care, which, in turn, could lead to a delay in meeting patients' needs. Aim To explore healthcare professionals' perceptions of palliative care. Method Data were collected through twelve interprofessional focus group interviews in community care and hospital wards in south Sweden (n = 74). All interviews were analysed with latent content analysis. Results Three domains were revealed: first, a blurred conceptual understanding as participants described palliative care using synonyms, diagnoses, phases, natural care and holism; second, a challenge to communicate transitions concerned the importance of how and when the transition to palliative care was communicated and documented; finally, a need for interprofessional collaboration was described as well as the consequences for severely ill persons, relatives and healthcare professionals when it was not established. Conclusion The perceptions about how to interpret palliative care differed as well as when palliative care should be offered and decided, which might have practical consequences. How long a person has left to live is of great significance for decision-making, caregiving and preparation in palliative care. The challenge is to use interprofessional communication to promote understanding and collaborate across varied care levels. Integrating palliative care across diverse care levels could be one way to reduce the ambiguity of palliative care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2019. Vol. 33, no 1, p. 77-84
Keywords [en]
palliative care, perceptions, healthcare professionals, focus group interviews, conceptual definition, communication, collaboration
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-81850DOI: 10.1111/scs.12603ISI: 000462154100007PubMedID: 30101989Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053198936OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-81850DiVA, id: diva2:1304325
Available from: 2019-04-12 Created: 2019-04-12 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Wallerstedt, BirgittaBenzein, EvaSchildmeijer, KristinaSandgren, Anna

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