The nature of, and reasons for, 'inappropriate' hospitalisations among patients with palliative care needs: a qualitative exploration of the views of generalist palliative care providers

Gott, M., Frey, R., Robinson, J., Boyd, M., O'Callaghan, A., Richards, N. and Snow, B. (2013) The nature of, and reasons for, 'inappropriate' hospitalisations among patients with palliative care needs: a qualitative exploration of the views of generalist palliative care providers. Palliative Medicine, 27(8), pp. 747-756. (doi:10.1177/0269216312469263) (PMID:23295813)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

Background: Recent studies have concluded that there is significant potential to reduce the extent of ‘inappropriate’ hospitalisations among patients with palliative care needs. However, the nature of, and reasons for, inappropriate hospitalisations within a palliative care context is under-explored.

Aim: To explore the opinions of ‘generalist’ palliative care providers regarding the nature of, and reasons for, inappropriate admissions among hospital inpatients with palliative care needs.

Design: Qualitative study with data collected via individual interviews and focus groups.

Setting/participants: Participants (n = 41) comprised ‘generalist’ palliative care providers working in acute hospital and community settings. Setting: One District Health Board in an urban area of New Zealand.

Results: The majority of participants discussed ‘appropriateness’ in relation to their own understanding of a good death, which typically involved care being delivered in a ‘homely’ environment, from known people. Differing attitudes among cultural groups were also evident. The following reasons for inappropriate admissions were identified: family carers being unable to cope, the ‘rescue culture’ of modern medicine, the financing and availability of community services and practice within aged residential care.

Conclusions: On the basis of our findings, we recommend a shift to the term ‘potentially avoidable’ admission rather than ‘inappropriate admission’. We also identify an urgent need for debate regarding the role of the acute hospital within a palliative care context. Interventions to reduce hospital admissions within this population must target societal understandings of death and dying within the context of medicalisation, as well as take into account cultural and ethnic diversity in attitudes, if they are to be successful.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Richards, Dr Naomi
Authors: Gott, M., Frey, R., Robinson, J., Boyd, M., O'Callaghan, A., Richards, N., and Snow, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Palliative Medicine
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0269-2163
ISSN (Online):1477-030X

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record