End-of-life care in rural and regional Australia: Patients’, carers’ and general practitioners’ expectations of the role of general practice, and the degree to which they were met

Claire E. Johnson, Hugh Senior, Peta McVey, Victoria Team, Angela Ives, Geoffrey Mitchell

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study objective was to explore the characteristics of rural general practice which exemplify optimal end-of-life (EOL) care from the perspective of people diagnosed with cancer, their informal carers and general practitioners (GPs); and the extent to which consumers perceived that actual EOL care addressed these characteristics. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with six people diagnosed with cancer, three informal carers and four GPs in rural and regional Australia. Using a social constructionist approach, thematic analysis was undertaken. Seven characteristics were perceived to be essential for optimal EOL care: (1) commitment and availability, (2) building of therapeutic relationships, (3) effective communication, (4) psychosocial support, (5) proficient symptom management, (6) care coordination and (7) recognition of the needs of carers. Most GPs consistently addressed these characteristics. Comprehensive EOL care that meets the needs of people dying with cancer is not beyond the resources of rural and regional GPs and communities.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Advanced cancer
  • end-of-life care
  • family practice
  • general practice
  • palliative care
  • regional
  • rural

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