General practitioners' experiences of the psychological aspects in the care of a dying patient

Kelly, Brian, Varghese, Francis T., Burnett, Paul, Turner, Jane, Robertson, Marguerite, Kelly, Patricia, Mitchell, Geoffrey and Treston, Pat (2008) General practitioners' experiences of the psychological aspects in the care of a dying patient. Palliative and Supportive Care, 6 2: 125-131. doi:10.1017/S1478951508000205


Author Kelly, Brian
Varghese, Francis T.
Burnett, Paul
Turner, Jane
Robertson, Marguerite
Kelly, Patricia
Mitchell, Geoffrey
Treston, Pat
Title General practitioners' experiences of the psychological aspects in the care of a dying patient
Journal name Palliative and Supportive Care   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1478-9515
1478-9523
Publication date 2008-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S1478951508000205
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 6
Issue 2
Start page 125
End page 131
Total pages 7
Editor W. Breitbart
H.Chochinov
S.Wein
D. Cassetta
Place of publication Cambridge, U. K.
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
920211 Palliative Care
1103 Clinical Sciences
1110 Nursing
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Abstract Objective: General practitioners (GPs) play an integral role in addressing the psychological needs of palliative care patients and their families. This qualitative study investigated psychosocial issues faced by GPs in the management of patients receiving palliative care and investigated the themes relevant to the psychosocial care of dying patients. Method: Fifteen general practitioners whose patient had been recently referred to the Mt. Olivet Palliative Home Care Services in Brisbane participated in an individual case review discussions guided by key questions within a semistructured format. These interviews focused on the psychosocial aspects of care and management of the referred patient, including aspects of the doctor/patient relationship, experience of delivering diagnosis and prognosis, addressing the psychological concerns of the patients' family, and the doctors' personal experiences, reactions, and responses. Qualitative analysis was conducted on the transcripts of these interviews. Results: The significant themes that emerged related to perceived barriers to exploration of emotional concerns, including spiritual issues, and the discussion of prognosis and dying, the perception of patients' responses/coping styles, and the GP's personal experience of the care (usually expressed in terms of identification with patient). Significance of results: The findings indicate the significant challenges facing clinicians in discussions with patients and families about death, to exploring the patient's emotional responses to terminal illness and spiritual concerns for the patient and family. These qualitative date indicate important tasks in the training and clinical support for doctors providing palliative care. Copyright
Formatted abstract
Objective
General practitioners (GPs) play an integral role in addressing the psychological needs of palliative care patients and their families. This qualitative study investigated psychosocial issues faced by GPs in the management of patients receiving palliative care and investigated the themes relevant to the psychosocial care of dying patients.

Method:

Fifteen general practitioners whose patient had been recently referred to the Mt. Olivet Palliative Home Care Services in Brisbane participated in an individual case review discussions guided by key questions within a semistructured format. These interviews focused on the psychosocial aspects of care and management of the referred patient, including aspects of the doctor/patient relationship, experience of delivering diagnosis and prognosis, addressing the psychological concerns of the patients’ family, and the doctors’ personal experiences, reactions, and responses. Qualitative analysis was conducted on the transcripts of these interviews.

Results
The significant themes that emerged related to perceived barriers to exploration of emotional concerns, including spiritual issues, and the discussion of prognosis and dying, the perception of patients’ responses/coping styles, and the GP’s personal experience of the care (usually expressed in terms of identification with patient).

Significance of results
The findings indicate the significant challenges facing clinicians in discussions with patients and families about death, to exploring the patient’s emotional responses to terminal illness and spiritual concerns for the patient and family. These qualitative date indicate important tasks in the training and clinical support for doctors providing palliative care.
Keyword General practitioner
Doctor-patient relationship
Qualitative
Psycho-social
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 01 Apr 2009, 02:18:54 EST by Sheila Cleary on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences