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Can Fam Physician. 2000 Jun;46:1301-7.

Palliative care on Manitoulin Island. Views of family caregivers in remote communities.

Author information

1
Northeastern Ontario Family Medicine Program. gbmc@onlink.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe family caregivers' experiences with palliative care services in rural communities.

DESIGN:

Qualitative study.

SETTING:

Manitoulin Island, Ont.

PARTICIPANTS:

Thirteen family caregivers of 12 deceased patients who had received palliative care services.

METHOD:

Twenty-five family caregivers were recruited by mail and local newspaper. Eight were excluded because they lived off the Island or were too recently bereaved; one declined an interview; and three were excluded by researchers. Initial contact was by telephone; those retained (13 people) were interviewed at home. Interviews were conducted by the same researcher using a semistructured interview guide. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, and content was analyzed.

MAIN FINDINGS:

Three interwoven themes were identified: access to services, quality of services, and support and caring. Hospital and community-based services were accessed with ease at the local level; difficulties were noted when accessing services in tertiary care centres. Participants were generally grateful for and pleased with services received. Two areas of concern raised by participants were communication and pain and symptom control. Participants suggested to the Ministry of Health ways to improve rural palliative care services. More public funding for in-home palliative care services was identified as a priority.

CONCLUSION:

Participants thought good services and supportive care at the local level made up for difficulties in accessing and using palliative services in tertiary care centres. Community spirit and culture were seen as making situations more bearable.

PMID:
10907569
PMCID:
PMC2144945
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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