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Qual Health Res. 2016 Jul;26(9):1252-62. doi: 10.1177/1049732315588500. Epub 2015 May 20.

Providing Palliative Care in a Swedish Support Home for People Who Are Homeless.

Author information

1
Ersta Sköndal University College, Stockholm, Sweden cecilia.hakanson@esh.se.
2
Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
3
KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
4
Skaraborg Hospital, Skövde, Sweden.
5
Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.
6
Ersta Sköndal University College, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

Despite high frequencies of multiple, life-limiting conditions relating to palliative care needs, people who are homeless are one of the most underserved and rarely encountered groups in palliative care settings. Instead, they often die in care places where palliative competence is not available. In this qualitative single-case study, we explored the conditions and practices of palliative care from the perspective of staff at a Swedish support home for homeless people. Interpretive description guided the research process, and data were generated from repeated reflective conversations with staff in groups, individually, and in pairs. The findings disclose a person-centered approach to palliative care, grounded in the understanding of the person's health/illness and health literacy, and how this is related to and determinant on life as a homeless individual. Four patterns shape this approach: building trustful and family-like relationships, re-dignifying the person, re-considering communication about illness and dying, and re-defining flexible and pragmatic care solutions.

KEYWORDS:

Sweden; death and dying; homelessness; interpretive description; knowledge construction; palliative care; qualitative

PMID:
25994318
DOI:
10.1177/1049732315588500
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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