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An intervention applying a palliative care approach in residential care: influences on nurse assistants' work situation
Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsplattformen Hälsa i samverkan.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7790-6906
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

Palliative care is an approach characterized by a holistic view of the person, which supports the individual for living with dignity and with the best possible level of wellbeing until the end of life. Those who, in practice, provide care in Swedish residential care facilities for older people (RCFs) are nurse assistants (NAs), a work group with limited education. They also often stand alone with difficult decisions with regards to the care provision, as the registered nurse has the role of consultant rather than leader. In an explorative qualitative study we found that NAs experienced that it was difficult to focus on relationship aspects in their work, as the main discourse in the residential care focused on tasks. Palliative care was described as something that was applied only during a short define phase i.e. last days of the residents’ life. These results were used as a basis for development of an intervention focus on a palliative care approach in RCFs. The intervention consisted of study circles with NAs, and workshops together with their leaders, focusing on improvement work.

Aim

To investigate how an intervention focusing on a palliative care approach in RCFs influenced the NAs and their work.

Method

Two quantitative studies, based on a questionnaire, including several measurements, that was answered pre-, and post- intervention and one qualitative study based on individual interviews after the intervention. A total of 75 nurse assistants participated in the intervention and answered the questionnaire at baseline and at two follow-ups, in comparison with 110 nurse assistants who served as controls. 

Results

The evaluation of the intervention showed that the NAs, after the intervention, had increased their focus on the residents’ situation and to a greater extent stated that they focused on the residents’ life stories and on aspects that brought meaning to their lives. The NAs also stated that they experienced less criticism from their superiors as well as from the residents after the intervention. However, the evaluation also showed that the NAs had a more negative view of the leadership, were more critical to the medical and the nursing care, and that their job satisfaction had decreased after the intervention. Interviews after the intervention showed that they, as a result of the intervention, had not only gained increased insight into their own significance in their encounter with residents and their relatives, but also an increased awareness of the needs of the residents and their relatives. The intervention also contributed to an increased openness in the workgroup. However, the nurse assistants also expressed frustration over barriers, primarily in the form of a lack of resources and limited leadership, standing in the way of the implementation of changes.

Conclusion

The results indicate that the NAs, through discussions and reflections over praxis in their ordinary work group, developed an increased awareness about, and focus on relationship aspects. However, in spite of the leaders’ involvement, the intervention was not sufficient for changing the organizational prerequisites for working in line with the palliative care approach. When implementing a palliative care approach in RCFs, more focus on support to the leaders in needed in order to maintain sustainable changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
palliative care approach, residential care facilities, Intervention
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-11730OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-11730DiVA: diva2:694558
Conference
The 46th AAG National Conference, Grey Expectations: Ageing in the 21st Century’, Sydney, Australia, 27-29 November 2013
Available from: 2014-02-06 Created: 2014-02-06 Last updated: 2015-01-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
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