“She Takes a Seat at the Table, Allows Time, Makes Inquiries” – Palliative Care in Family Medicine from Caregivers’ Points of View
DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2017.0228-0233german translation / full article
Background: Caregivers of palliative care patients at home need support also from family practitioners (FPs) and medical assistants. In the pilot project “Improvement of palliative care at home by supporting family caregivers”, interventions to support caregivers were developed and tested. We assessed to which degree caregivers perceived support and a relief of their burden offered by family practices.
Methods: After the intervention, interviews with caregivers about their experiences with support offered by family practices were conducted and analyzed in a content analysis. The burden for caregivers was assessed with the Burden Scale for Family Caregivers (BSFC) at baseline, after 6 and after 12 months.
Results: In the interviews with seven caregivers, they reported good, even short-term, accessibility of the family practice – both on the telephone and for home visits. The FP would be the most important medical contact person, but would also provide contact details for other healthcare providers. Caregivers appreciated if they were asked after their own wellbeing. On the BSFC, caregivers reported the patient’s fate as the highest burden.
Conclusions: The results underline the importance of family practices recognizing caregivers as part of the care team to allow early and continuous support and thereby ensure care of palliative patients at home