How Do Patients With Non Curable, Life-Limiting Conditions Experience Home Care?

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2013.0159-0164

german translation / full article

Jutta Bleidorn, Nils Schneider, Katharina Klindtworth

Keywords: End-of-Life Care Palliative Care Family Practitioners Patient Perspective Qualitative Research

Background: At the end of life, most patients with non-curable and life-limiting conditions need less specialized care than good primary palliative care provided by family practitioners. This study shows terminally ill patients’ perceptions regarding health care delivery at home.

Methods: We conducted 12 qualitative interviews with patients with life-limiting diseases. The interview guide addressed patients’ use of and satisfaction with health care services, as well as the topics communication and information. Interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: From patients’ view, family practitioners (FPs) play a main role in end of life care, being appreciated as confidential persons and dialog partners. Patients want to be perceived holistically, as a whole person, and have a strong desire for good communication. Patients’ own resources, such as attitudes towards disease or support by family, are important to cope with the situation.

Conclusions: Family practitioners play a central role in the health care for patients with non-curable and life-limiting conditions. Blatantly obvious is the significance of affection-orientated, holistic medicine, thus requiring both communications skills and health systemic framework conditions, allowing the implementation of “talking medicine” in practice routines.

(State: 16.04.2013)

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