University of Limerick
Doody_2018_Family.pdf (347.64 kB)

Family caregivers' perceptions of an Irish palliative day-care unit: a qualitative descriptive study

Download (347.64 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2019-02-22, 12:35 authored by L. Reidy, Maria E. Baily, Owen DoodyOwen Doody
Aim and objectives: To describe family caregiver’s perceptions of a palliative day-care service. Background: An emphasis on homecare for patients with advanced disease has meant that family caregivers’ have greater responsibilities. Caregivers’ can become vulnerable, prone to exhaustion, fatigue, anxiety, sleeplessness, weight loss, burnout, social isolation and general deterioration in health. Palliative day-care can alleviate carer stress and burden by providing care and supporting carers. Little evidence exists of caregivers’ perceptions of palliative day-care units. Design: A descriptive qualitative approach allowed the researchers to elicit family caregivers’ perceptions of a palliative day-care unit in Ireland. Methods: After ethical approval, family caregivers were purposively sampled (n=6) and interviewed (semi-structured). Interviews were transcribed and analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis framework. Results: Three themes were identified: ‘transition to palliative day-care’, ‘effects of caregiving’ and ‘support’. The study highlights participants’ worries and fears within the transition to palliative care but that they welcomed the warm homely environment of palliative day-care. Participants’ fears and anxieties alleviated as they were able to share their responsibility with palliative day-care staff who were a valuable source of help. Supports such as respite were valued however, other supports would also be desirable such as caregiver and bereavement support groups. Conclusions: Overall the study highlights the importance of palliative day-care in supporting caregivers’ and further supports required. Services need to respond to caregivers’ need for education, support and information around their family member’s medical/nursing care, emotional/spiritual/social support and services available to assist them to provide care. Relevance to clinical practice: This paper reports on the findings of a study which explored caregivers’ experiences of palliative day-care. Broadening the support available to caregivers’ during and after their time engaged with palliative day-care is a necessity and should address bereavement and caregiver support groups.



Nursing and Palliative Care;3 (2), pp. 1-7


Open Access Text





Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager