Do patients and carers find separate palliative care clinic consultations acceptable? A pilot study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 2014, 20 (6), pp. 301 - 305
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© 2014 MA Healthcare Ltd. Background: As differing patient and carer information needs have been reported, and in light of changing health-system priorities and issues identified in a self-assessment study, a specialist palliative care service established an interdisciplinary psychosocial assessment clinic to separately assess patient and carer needs. Aim: To determine the acceptability of the separate assessment to patients and carers. Method: Patients with a high functional score and who were deemed well enough to manage an appointment were invited to attend the clinic. Consent to follow-up was obtained. Patient and carer satisfaction surveys were developed based on existing tools. Questionnaires were posted out with a pre-paid reply envelope to patients and carers. Data from completed surveys was entered into a data management system and frequency analysis completed. A secondary analysis of the comments was undertaken. Findings: The clinic was attended by 41 patients and 37 carers between September 2011 and the end of February 2012. There was a 46% response rate, with 24 questionnaires returned from both the patient and their carer, 6 from patients only, and 6 from carers only (2 of whom were bereaved). The opportunity for privacy to discuss their own fears and concerns related to the illness was appreciated by 94% of the patients and 83% of the carers. Conclusion: This initial pilot data shows patient and carer satisfaction with this clinic model. Further qualitative data would provide more information on the patient and carer experiences of the clinic.
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