Clinical depression is highly prevalent yet underdetected and poorly managed within palliative care settings. Objectives: This qualitative study explored the identification, monitoring, and management of symptoms of depression in patients receiving palliative care from 2 juxtaposed perspectives that are of care providers and care recipients family members. Examining the barriers that restrict professional carers detecting and managing depression in their patients was a central focus of the study. Methods: Focus groups were held with 18 professional carers, including 8 holding managerial positions, across 2 palliative care services, 1 regional and 1 metropolitan, which provided both inpatient and community-based care. Individual interviews were conducted with 10 family members of patients who had received or were receiving palliative care through these services. Results: Thematic analysis of these data identified that both professional carers and family members perceived that depression is a wide-spread concern for patients receiving palliative care; however, numerous barriers were identified that affect professional carers ability to identify depression. These included knowledge and training deficits, low self-efficacy, prioritization of physical concerns and time constraints, patient/family characteristics, and system/process issues. These themes (and related subthemes) are discussed in this article. Conclusions: Specialized training in depression is recommended for professional carers in order to improve their depression-related knowledge, detection skills, and self-efficacy. The ultimate goal of such training is to increase the rate of recognition of depression that in turn will lead to appropriate treatment for depressed patients.
|Pages (from-to)||12 - 20|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|