Consumers’ expectations and experiences of end of life care: Carers’ perceptions of dying in a large metropolitan/rural health service in Victoria

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Phase one will be a survey of carers and families of people who have died in the Health Service to invite feedback about EOLC experiences. We are applying for funding for this component of the project.
Service quality is defined as the difference between consumer expectations and consumer perceptions. When expectations are greater than perceptions, a service quality gap exists.5 We will, therefore, use the SERVQUAL approach6 of assessing consumer expectations and perceived experiences of the end of life care provided to their loved one while dying in an EH hospital, rather than assessing consumer experiences or satisfaction in isolation.

We will use modified questions from the VOICES Survey, QEOLC108 and the Victorian Healthcare Experience of Palliative Care (Bereaved Carers) Survey to assess both consumer expectations and perceptions of service delivery. Items previously considered important to patients dying in a hospital included:
• Effective communication and shared decision making;
• Expert care;
• Respectful and compassionate care; and,
• Trust and confidence in clinicians.2

The elected carer/family member of all patients who die at EH in the next 12 months will be invited to participate in the survey. The questionnaire will be mailed to participants three months post-bereavement in an attempt to balance ethical concerns about burdening/distressing grieving family members close to the death and ensuring accurate recall about events that took place during the hospitalisation of their loved one.
Effective start/end date1/06/1931/05/20