Palliative care for American Veterans with non-malignant respiratory disease: A qualitative study

Clare McVeigh*, Joanne Reid, Paula Carvalho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

Healthcare professionals’ views of palliative care for American war veterans with non-malignant respiratory disease living in a rural area: a qualitative study

Dr Clare Mc Veigh1, Professor Joanne Reid1 and Professor Paula Carvalho2 3

1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
2. Pulmonary and MICU, Boise VA Medical Centre, Boise, USA
3. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Contact: clare.mcveigh@qub.ac.uk

Background Chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are a growing health concern within the veteran population. Palliative care programs have mainly focused on the needs of people with malignant disease in the past, however the majority of those worldwide needing palliative care have a non-malignant diagnosis. Additionally, palliative care provision can often be fragmented and varied dependent upon a patient’s geographical location.
Aims Explore palliative care provision for veterans with non-malignant respiratory disease (NMRD), and their family carers, living in a rural area of America.
Methods 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.
Results Findings highlighted that the uncertain NMRD trajectory impeded veteran referral to palliative and hospice services due to healthcare professionals’ own ambiguity regarding prognosis. A barrier related particularly to veterans was a perceived lack of ability to afford relevant services, and a lack of local palliative service provision. Findings highlighted that a compounding factor to palliative care uptake was also the perceptions held by veterans. Alongside aligning palliative care with dying, veterans also viewed accepting palliative care as ‘surrendering’ to their disease. Findings indicated that telemedicine may be an effective platform to enhance equity of access to palliative care provision for veterans with NMRD living in rural areas.
Conclusion A new model of palliative care for veterans with NMRD, utilising a dynamic digital platform, may provide an optimal way of providing efficient holistic care to rural areas with limited palliative services.
Keywords Veteran, Non-Malignant Respiratory Disease, Palliative Care, Rural

Funding Source: Florence Nightingale Travel Scholarship
Conference Theme: Issues of equity in palliative and end of life care and bereavement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventInternational Seminar of European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Research Network and The EAPC Reference Group on Public Health and Palliative Care - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Oct 202016 Oct 2020

Conference

ConferenceInternational Seminar of European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Research Network and The EAPC Reference Group on Public Health and Palliative Care
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period15/10/202016/10/2020

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