Exploring the Factors that Influence the Interprofessional Delivery of Palliative Care in Long-Term Care Facilities

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 10:40 AM

Kathryn A. Pfaff, PhD, MSc, BScN, RN
Jean Echlin, MSc, BSN, RN
Lisa A. Hamilton
Faculty of Nursing, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

The implementation of palliative care is considered the ‘gold standard’ for care at end-of-life (Department of Health End of Life Care Strategy, 2008).  Palliative care is an interprofessional approach that improves the quality of life for individuals with life-threatening illness, by early identification and management of pain and other physical symptoms. It integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care, offering a support system to help individuals live as actively as possible until death, and addresses the coping needs of individuals and families through illness and bereavement (World Health Organization, 2011). Nevertheless, there are many barriers and challenges associated with delivering palliative care in long-term care.  Recruitment and retention of care providers in all disciplines is a challenge in long-term care institutions in Canada (Long-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety, 2012). Although volunteers and non-professional staff play a key role in providing palliative care in hospice settings, they are often not well-integrated in resident care in long-term care facilities. Non-professional staff often perceive their assessments to be undervalued, their roles to be less important, and lack of recogntion as members of the interprofessional care team (Franchi, 2011). To be successful, interprofessional collaboration must be understood at the individual, team and organizational levels.

The purpose of this exploratory cross-sectional survey of professional and non-professional long-term care providers was to understand the factors that predict the delivery of interprofessional palliaitve care in long-term care.  The background, research questions, methods and analysis will be briefly reviewed prior to reporting the statistical findings. The latter will be reported and interpreted within the context of the individual care provider, the team, and the organization.  Implications for practice, education, policy, and research will be discussed.