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May 14, 2019

16th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care

The 'Palliative Care Ambulance': Patient and Carer Perspectives of a Paramedic Service

ambulance

paramedic

home-based palliative care

qualitative research

models of care

Abstract

Abstract

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Keywords

ambulance

paramedic

home-based palliative care

qualitative research

models of care

Abstract

Background The need for home-based palliative care is growing at the same time as health systems face increased complexity and funding constraints. As such, ambulance services are increasingly tasked with providing 24-hour care, and potentially averting unnecessary hospital admissions. However, there is a dearth of research focused on their role in palliative care. Most studies to date have focused on issues at the very end of life and/or withholding resuscitation. The wider role of paramedics is yet to be examined to determine their value, particularly for patients and carers. Aim Explore patient and carer experiences of home-based palliative care delivered by trained paramedics. Methods From January to August 2018, 17 patients and carers participated in semi-structured interviews to explore their experiences with, and perspectives of the palliative care delivered by paramedics. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed within a social constructionist framework using Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis. Results Participants valued the palliative care delivered by trained paramedics. Notably, they appreciated their promptness, their compassion, their expertise in symptom management, and the ways they coordinated their efforts with palliative care specialists and other team members. Furthermore, carers reported feeling more confident in their capacity to support the patient, cognisant that timely assistance was always available. Conclusion Despite the importance of home-based palliative care, 24-hour care is not always available given resource constraints. This study suggests that ambulance services represent a helpful complement to specialist palliative care services. They enabled patients and carers to receive what they require, when they require it. Further research is thus required to determine best practice models of ambulance home care that can accommodate the changing needs and preferences of patients and their carers.

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© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH.
All rights reserved.