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Indian J Palliat Care. 2016 Jul-Sep;22(3):348-53. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.185083.

Motivation of Volunteers to Work in Palliative Care Setting: A Qualitative Study.

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1
Department of Palliative Medicine, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Volunteers are an integral part of the palliative care services in the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. These volunteers are an important resource for the department. Thus, it is necessary for the department to determine what motivates these volunteers to continue to work in the setting, acknowledge them and direct efforts toward retaining them and giving them opportunities to serve to the best of their desire and abilities.

AIMS:

The current study aimed at understanding the motivation of volunteers to work in palliative care, to identify the challenges they face and also the effect of their work on their self and relationships.

METHODOLOGY:

In-depth interviews were conducted using semistructured interview guide to study above mentioned aspects. Themes were identified and coding was used to analyze the data.

RESULTS:

The results suggested that the basic motivation for all the volunteers to work in a palliative care setting is an inherent urge, a feeling of need to give back to the society by serving the sick and the suffering. Other motivating factors identified were team spirit, comfort shared, warm and respectful treatment by the team, satisfying nature of work, experience of cancer in the family, and aligned values and beliefs. Some intrinsic rewards mentioned by volunteers were joy of giving, personal growth, enriching experiences, and meaningful nature of work.

CONCLUSION:

The study attempted to improve opportunities of working for these volunteers. Although limited in scope, it offers insight for future research in the area of volunteerism in palliative care setup.

KEYWORDS:

Hospital volunteers; Palliative care; Volunteer motivation

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