An insight into the delivery of a palliative approach in residential aged care: The general practitioner perspective

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Applied Gerontology, 2009, 28 (3), pp. 395 - 405
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Managing the complex care needs of older people is a global concern. General practitioners (GPs) play a pivotal role in aged care, yet little is known about their capacity to provide palliative care in nursing homes. This study aimed to investigate GPs' perceptions and understanding of a palliative approach. A convenience sample of rural GPs (n = 13) participated in a series of three focus groups undertaken in August, 2005. These focus groups were all audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Four key themes emerged: uncertainty about a palliative approach, a need to reorientate providers, the challenges of managing third parties, and making it work and moving forward. These preliminary findings suggest that integrating a palliative approach in aged care requires GPs to have a greater awareness of this paradigm and to be more effectively engaged in multidisciplinary care planning.
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