UK palliative care professionals identified service infrastructure, patient and carer attitudes and characteristics, and practice culture as influencing place of death of patients with cancer
Q Which factors do UK palliative care service providers identify as influencing the place of death (ie, home, hospice, or hospital) of patients with cancer?
A purposive sample of 14 palliative care professionals (11 healthcare professionals, 1 social care professional, 1 hospice manager, and 1 former Health Authority manager with a palliative service remit) and 1 voluntary hospice worker (9 women). 13 participants had direct and frequent contact with patients and carers.
30 minute semistructured interviews addressed the nature of work and the service provided; factors influencing place of death and preferences of patients and carers; and the ideal configuration of services. Data were analysed using constant comparison. Validity checks included identifying deviant cases and review of draft findings by 3 participants.
Participants identified 5 major factors that influenced the place of death of patients with cancer. (1) Service infrastructure. Place of death options and outcomes were dictated by factors associated with National Health Service (NHS) and local social services funding, budgets, priority setting, and the unpredictability of charitable funding for …