An exploration into the palliative and end-of-life experiences of carers of people with Parkinson's disease

Felicity Hasson, W. George Kernohan, Marian McLaughlin, Mary Waldron, Dorry McLaughlin, Helen Chambers, Barbara Cochrane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although most people with Parkinson's disease are cared for in the community, little is known about family members' lived experiences of palliative or end-of-life care. The aim of this study was to explore former carers' lived experiences of palliative and end-of-life care. In total, 15 former family caregivers of patients who had died with Parkinson's disease were interviewed using a semi-structured topic list. Findings indicated that some palliative and end-of-life care needs had not been fully addressed. Lack of communication, knowledge and coordination of services resulted in many people caring for someone with Parkinson's disease not accessing specialist palliative care services. Participants also reflected upon the physical and psychological impact of caring in the advanced stage of Parkinson's. A multi-disciplinary team-based approach was advocated by participants. These findings provide important insights into the experience of caregiving to patients with Parkinson's disease in the home at the end-of-life stage. According to palliative care standards, patients and their carers are the unit of care; in reality, however, this standard is not being met.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-736
Number of pages6
JournalPalliative Medicine
Volume24
Issue number7
Early online date04 Jun 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2010

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