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J Palliat Care. 1999 Winter;15(4):48-56.

Predictors of family satisfaction with an Australian palliative home care service: a test of discrepancy theory.

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School of Nursing, Edith Cowan University, Churchlands, Western Australia.


Five interesting findings emerged from this study: Although study results demonstrate support for Porter's Discrepancy Theory, the most compelling outcome is the finding that family care perceptions may be the best predictor of family care satisfaction. Family members' age may be a predictor of family care satisfaction. Family functioning may be a useful clinical indicator to identify families who are less satisfied with care and in greater need of support. The length of time that clients receive the care service may alter family care satisfaction. Differences in findings reported in this study compared with Canadian results point to the need for cross-cultural research in this area. This research is the first Australian study to test discrepancy theory as a framework for understanding family care satisfaction in a home hospice context. Results from this study may assist health care providers to more sensitively address the care perceptions of families in this care setting and extend theory development research that is needed to guide palliative care practice with families.

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