'It's very difficult to get respite out here at the moment': Australian findings on end-of-life care for Indigenous people

McGrath, Pam, Patton, Mary Anne, McGrath, Zoe, Olgivie, Katherine, Rayner, Robert and Holewa, Hamish (2006) 'It's very difficult to get respite out here at the moment': Australian findings on end-of-life care for Indigenous people. Health and Social Care in the Community, 14 2: 147-155. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2524.2006.00604.x

Author McGrath, Pam
Patton, Mary Anne
McGrath, Zoe
Olgivie, Katherine
Rayner, Robert
Holewa, Hamish
Title 'It's very difficult to get respite out here at the moment': Australian findings on end-of-life care for Indigenous people
Journal name Health and Social Care in the Community   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0966-0410
Publication date 2006-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2524.2006.00604.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 14
Issue 2
Start page 147
End page 155
Total pages 9
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Whilst access to respite care has been found to represent an important source of support for terminally ill patients and their families, the availability of these services to Indigenous Australians has to date remained undocumented. This potential need for respite in Indigenous communities was explored as part of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) funded study designed to develop an innovative model for Indigenous palliative care. The data needed for model development were collected through a series of open-ended, qualitative interviews conducted with a cross-section of consumers and health professionals within the Northern Territory, Australia. The findings reflected a serious need for Indigenous respite services, coupled with a severe deficiency in the present availability of these services, especially within rural and regional areas. This lack of local respite services was documented to be negatively impacting upon the ability of carers to fulfil their caring duties and was found placing undue physical, emotional and economic stress upon carers, patients and their families. Furthermore, the lack of access to local respite services documented was found to be forcing rural and regional patients to relocate to metropolitan areas away from the family, community and land to which strong ties are held. The lack of Indigenous respite services was also found to obstruct patients’ and carers’ wishes for death to occur in the local community, rather than in far away cities. Significant obstacles were found to be hindering the provision of respite care to Indigenous Australians, namely beliefs about families looking after their own, resource restrictions, limited staff availability in local areas, as well as problems associated with hostel use in metropolitan areas. The conclusions drawn from this study suggest the importance of tackling the obstacles preventing local respite services being established in areas close to where patients and carers live.
Keyword Indigenous health
Palliative care
Rural and remote
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 23 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 22 Mar 2013, 00:17:28 EST by Mary Anne Patton on behalf of School of Social Science