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Haematology nurses' perspectives of their patients' places of care and death: A UK qualitative interview study

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Publication details

JournalEuropean journal of oncology nursing
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Feb 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 7 Feb 2019
Volume39
Pages (from-to)70-80
Early online date7/02/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose
Patients with haematological malignancies are more likely to die in hospital, and less likely to access palliative care than people with other cancers, though the reasons for this are not well understood. The purpose of our study was to explore haematology nurses' perspectives of their patients’ places of care and death.

Method
Qualitative description, based on thematic content analysis. Eight haematology nurses working in secondary and tertiary hospital settings were purposively selected and interviewed. Transcriptions were coded and analysed for themes using a mainly inductive, cross-comparative approach.

Results
Five inter-related factors were identified as contributing to the likelihood of patients’ receiving end of life care/dying in hospital: the complex nature of haematological diseases and their treatment; close clinician-patient bonds; delays to end of life discussions; lack of integration between haematology and palliative care services; and barriers to death at home.

Conclusions
Hospital death is often determined by the characteristics of the cancer and type of treatment. Prognostication is complex across subtypes and hospital death perceived as unavoidable, and sometimes the preferred option. Earlier, frank conversations that focus on realistic outcomes, closer integration of palliative care and haematology services, better communication across the secondary/primary care interface, and an increase in out-of-hours nursing support could improve end of life care and facilitate death at home or in hospice, when preferred.

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Authors.

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