An interview study of 55 lay carers of people who died from cancer in the Southern Board of Northern Ireland was undertaken using a combination of closed-format and open-ended questions. The aim of the study was to evaluate palliative care services delivered in the last six months of their lives to cancer patients who died either at home or in hospital. Two-thirds of the deaths (36) occurred in the domestic home, 45 of the deceased were admitted as hospital inpatients, and the great majority were in receipt of community nursing (53) and general practitioner (54) services. Open-ended questions were used to allow respondents to give their views about services in some detail and their views about good and bad aspects of services were sought. While they were generally satisfied with services specific areas of difficulty were identified in each aspect of care addressed by the study. The most favourable assessments were made of community nursing with the greatest number of negative comments being made about inpatient hospital care. Differing interests between some of those who were dying and their lay carers were found in two areas: the receipt of help from nonfamily members and the information that the deceased received about their terminal status.
- Community Health Services
- Palliative Care