The hospital environment for end of life care of older adults and their families: an integrative review

Authors

  • Louise Brereton,

    1. Louise Brereton MEd PhD RN Lecturer Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, Education Centre, Lincoln County Hospital, University of Nottingham, Lincoln, UK
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  • Clare Gardiner,

    1. Clare Gardiner BSc PhD Lecturer in Public Health School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), St Luke’s Hospice, University of Sheffield, UK
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  • Merryn Gott,

    1. Merryn Gott BA PhD Professor of Health Sciences, Director of Research Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Nursing, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Christine Ingleton,

    1. Christine Ingleton BEd PhD RN Professor of Palliative Care Nursing School of Nursing and Midwifery, St Luke’s Hospice, University of Sheffield, UK
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  • Sarah Barnes,

    1. Sarah Barnes BA PhD PGDip Health Promotion Lecturer in Public Health Section of Public Health, ScHARR, University of Sheffield, UK
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  • Christopher Carroll

    1. Christopher Carroll PhD Senior Lecturer in Health Technology Assessment Health Economics and Decision Science (HEDS), ScHARR, University of Sheffield, UK
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L. Brereton:
e-mail: louise.brereton@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

brereton l., gardiner c., gott m., ingleton c., barnes s. & carroll c. (2011) The hospital environment for end of life care of older adults and their families: an integrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing 68(5), 981–993.

Abstract

Aim.  This article is a report of an integrative review to identify key elements of the physical hospital environment for end of life care of older adults and their families as reported by patients, relatives, staff and policy makers.

Background.  Globally ageing populations and increases in long-term illness mean that more people will need palliative care in the future. Despite policy initiatives to increase end of life care in the community, many older adults prefer, and will require, end of life care in hospital. Providing an appropriate physical environment for older adults requiring end of life care is important given concerns about hospital environments for this group.

Data sources.  Thirteen databases from 1966 to 2010 were searched including ASSIA, BNI, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index, the Science Citation Index, HMIC and the National Research Register. Reference and citation tracking was performed on included publications.

Review methods.  An integrative review was conducted. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts for inclusion and completed data extraction. Study quality is not reported as this poses methodological difficulties in integrative reviews. Data synthesis involved thematic analysis informed by the findings of included literature.

Results.  Ten articles were included. Four themes were identified: privacy as needed; proximity (physically and emotionally) to loved ones, home and nature; satisfaction with the physical environment; and deficiencies in physical environment.

Conclusion.  Little evidence exists about physical hospital environments for end of life care of older adults and their families. More research is required in this field.

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