Get access

Multi-faceted palliative care intervention: aged care nurses’ and care assistants’ perceptions and experiences

Authors

  • Jane L. Phillips,

    1. Jane L. Phillips BAppSci RN PhD Candidate School of Nursing, Family and Community Health, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Patricia M. Davidson,

    1. Patricia M. Davidson MEd PhD RN Professor of Cardiovascular and Chronic Care School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Debra Jackson,

    1. Debra Jackson PhD RN Professor of Nursing School of Nursing, Family and Community Health, University of Western Sydney & Western Sydney Area Health Service, New South Wales, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Linda J. Kristjanson

    1. Linda J. Kristjanson MN PhD RN Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Development Professor & Director, WA Centre for Cancer & Palliative Care, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

J.L. Phillips:
e-mail: jane.phillips@canceraustralia.gov.au

Abstract

Title. Multi-faceted palliative care intervention: aged care nurses’ and care assistants’ perceptions and experiences.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to describe residential aged care nurses’ and care assistants’ perceptions of a multi-faceted palliative care intervention to identify potential areas to be addressed during subsequent action research phases.

Background.  Action research was used to enhance the delivery of a palliative approach in residential aged care. The chronic care model guided the development of a multi-faceted intervention. This involved the: (1) establishment of a ‘link nurse’ role; (2) learning and development strategies for nurses, care assistants and general practitioners; (3) use of multi-disciplinary team meetings; and (4) access to specialist consultation.

Method.  A purposive sample (= 28) of aged care nurses and care assistants participated in a series of four focus groups conducted in July 2005. Thematic content analysis of the transcripts was performed.

Findings.  Four themes emerged: (1) targeted education can make a difference; (2) a team approach is valued; (3) clinical assessment tools are helpful; and (4) using the right language is essential. Participants described increased understanding of palliative care concepts, enhanced competencies, greater confidence to deliver palliative care and a desire to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to care planning.

Conclusion.  Sustaining a culture that is committed to ongoing learning and development interventions and creating multi-disciplinary teams in the aged care setting is critical to embedding a palliative approach. The chronic care model is a useful framework to guide the development of interventions leading to better palliative care outcomes for residents and their families.

Ancillary