Palliative care patients' experiences of healthcare treatment


Malcolm Payne, Director, Psycho-social and Spiritual Care, St Christopher's Hospice, 51–59 Lawrie Park Road, Sydenham, London SE26 6DZ, UK


Kennett C, Payne M. Palliative care patients' experiences of healthcare treatment

Int J Soc Welfare 2010: 19: 262–271 © 2009 The Author(s), Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the International Journal of Social Welfare.

This article reports on a thematic analysis of the opinions of 34 palliative care patients about medical and healthcare treatment expressed in comments, narratives and discussions during a series of facilitated group discussions undertaken as part of training events for medical students. Palliative care patients often have long healthcare careers, which enables them to compare different professionals and services, thus offering a more powerful and complex analysis of patient experience than that obtainable from analysis of complaints or satisfaction surveys, and permits some understanding to be obtained of the attitudes that condition evaluations of services. The patients balanced negative views with positive experiences. They appreciated open, listening, equal and friendly relationships with professionals in which careful explanation fostered their confidence in the overall service. They criticised inflexible services that did not consider their broad needs, and in which relationships with professionals were characterised by busy-ness and professional distance.