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Evaluating a dignity care intervention for palliative care in the community setting: community nurses' perspectives

Evaluating a dignity care intervention for palliative care in the community setting: community nurses' perspectives

Journal of Clinical Nursing 26(23-24): 4300-4312

To evaluate a dignity care intervention provided by community nurses seeking to address dignity concerns for people with advanced and life-limiting conditions. Evidence would suggest that dying people fear a loss of dignity and a central focus of palliative care is to assist people to die with dignity. Whilst community nurses have a key role to play in the delivery of palliative care, specific interventions for dignity are lacking. A mixed methods study using online survey and focus group interviews and thematic analysis to examine data. Twenty four community nurses implemented the dignity care intervention for people with advanced and life-limiting conditions were recruited from four pilot sites across Ireland. Four focus group interviews and on line survey were conducted between March-June 2015. The community nurses found the dignity care intervention useful. It helped the nurses to provide holistic end-of-life care and assisted in the overall assessment of palliative care patients, identifying areas that might not otherwise have been noted. Whilst it was a useful tool for communication, they noted that it stimulated some emotionally sensitive conversations for which they felt unprepared. Implementing the dignity care intervention in practice was challenging. However, the dignity care intervention facilitated holistic assessment and identified patient dignity-related concerns that may not have been otherwise identified. Further support is required to overcome barriers and enable dignity-conserving care. Ensuring dignity is a key aspect of palliative and end-of-life care; however, community nurses may not feel equipped to address this aspect of care. Implementing a dignity care intervention can assist in identifying patient dignity-related concerns and provision of holistic care. Community nurses need more training to assist in difficult conversations relating to dignity and end-of-life care.

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Accession: 059702047

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PMID: 28178386

DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13757

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