eCite Digital Repository

Residential aged-care workers and the palliative approach: Tensions in the field


McInerney, F and Ford, R and Simpson, A and Willison, M, Residential aged-care workers and the palliative approach: Tensions in the field, Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 11, (6) pp. 344-352. ISSN 1522-2179 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1097/NJH.0b013e3181bd03df


Despite the recognition of the importance of the palliative approach for older adults in residential aged-care facilities, the provision of palliative care remains suboptimal. Strategies to improve palliative care education have targeted those health carers who provide direct physical care, namely, registered nurses and unlicensed personal care attendants. While ancillary (laundry, lifestyle, food services, maintenance, and administrative) staff have been identified as an important part of the aged-care team, they have been largely absent from such studies. This article reports the experiences and perceptions of palliative care by the entire care team in an Australian aged-care facility. With few exceptions, staff perceived palliative care to be synonymous with terminal care and to be primarily physically focused. Teamwork was found to be threatened by poor communication strategies between physical care and ancillary staff, with ancillary staff simultaneously reluctant to engage in, and frustrated by their exclusion from, care-related discussions. In addition to identifying key areas for education for all levels of health carers, along with the potential of focus groups as a strategy in this endeavor, this study highlights the importance of team cohesion for enacting the palliative approach in the aged-care context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Ancillary staff; Focus groups; Nursing staff; Palliative approach; Personal care attendants; Residential aged care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Aged care nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Palliative care
UTAS Author:McInerney, F (Professor Fran McInerney)
ID Code:95477
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-10-02
Last Modified:2014-10-02

Repository Staff Only: item control page