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J Palliat Care. 2001 Winter;17(4):229-35.

Activities of counsellors in a hospice/palliative care environment.

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  • 1Victoria Hospice Society, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


This study examined activities related to the provision of psychosocial care by counsellors in the hospice/palliative care setting. A qualitative design using written reports was used in an urban Canadian hospice/palliative care program. A convenient sample of 13 counsellors indicated the activities they typically performed in their work with patients and families. Thematic analysis of the activities directly related to patient and family care was performed and then validated by presenting these activities back to the counsellors in a group setting. Seven themes resulted: 1) companioning; 2) psychosocial assessment, planning, and evaluation; 3) counselling interventions; 4) facilitation and advocacy; 5) patient and family education; 6) consultation and reporting; and 7) team support. These thematic findings confirmed those of previous studies and also highlighted two additional findings. Team support was seen as an activity that directly affected client care, and there was a strong emphasis on the activity of companioning the dying and their families. Also discussed are implications of these results, as well as suggestions for further research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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