A survey of hospice day services in the United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland : how did hospices offer social support to palliative care patients, pre-pandemic?

NM Bradley*, CF Dowrick, M Lloyd-Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction
Social support is described by patients and other stakeholders to be a valuable component of palliative day care. Less is known about the range of hospice services that have been used in practice that facilitate social support. An online survey aimed to gain an overview of all hospice day services that facilitated social support for adults outside of their own homes.
Methods
An online survey was distributed via email to people involved in managing hospice day services. Questions were asked on hospice characteristics, including staff and volunteer roles. Respondents were asked to identify services they felt offered social support to patients. Data collection took place between August 2017 and May 2018.
Results
Responses were received from 103 hospices in the UK and ROI (response rate 49.5%). Results provide an overview of hospice day and outpatient services that offer social support to patients. These are: multi-component interventions, activity groups, formal support groups, befriending, and informal social activities. Multi-component interventions, such as palliative day care, were the most commonly reported. Their stated aims tend to focus on clinical aspects, but many survey respondents considered these multicomponent interventions to be the ‘most social’ service at their hospice.
The survey also identified a huge variety of activity groups, as well as formal therapeutic support groups. Informal ‘social-only’ activities were present, but less common. Over a third of all the services were described as ‘drop in’. Most responding hospices did not routinely use patient reported outcome measures in their ‘most social’ services.
Conclusions
The survey documents hospice activity in facilitating social support to be diverse and evolving. At the time of data collection, many hospices offered multiple different services by which a patient might obtain social support outside of their own home and in the presence of other patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number170
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

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