Boise VA Medical Center

McVeigh, C. (Visiting researcher)

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution


Funded by the Florence Nightingale Foundation Travel Scholarship (£2250). This study aimed to explore palliative care provision for veterans with non-malignant respiratory disease, and their family carers, living in a rural area of America. I conducted a qualitative study involving a convenience sample of 16 healthcare professionals from a large veteran hospital in Boise, Idaho. Data collection consisted of 5 focus groups which were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Healthcare professionals perceived that a lack of education regarding disease progression enhanced feelings of anxiety amongst veterans with NMRD, and their family carers. Additionally, the uncertain disease trajectory impeded referral to palliative and hospice services due to healthcare professionals own ambiguity regarding the veteran’s prognosis. A particular barrier also related to this particular patient population, was a perceived lack of ability to afford relevant services and a lack of local palliative service provision. Healthcare professionals expressed that a compounding factor to palliative care uptake was the perceptions held by the veteran population. Healthcare professionals expressed that alongside aligning palliative care with dying, veterans also viewed accepting palliative care as ‘surrendering’ to their disease. Findings indicated that telemedicine may be a beneficial platform to which palliative care can be provided to veterans with NMRD, and their family carers, in rural areas using a digital platform. Non-malignant respiratory disease is a life limiting condition commonly experienced within the veteran population. A new model of palliative care utilising a dynamic digital platform for this particular veteran population may provide an optimal way of providing efficient holistic care to areas with limited palliative services.
Period01 Sep 201421 Sep 2014
VisitingBoise VA Medical Center
Degree of RecognitionInternational