Patient-centeredness to anticipate and organize an end-of-life project for patients receiving at-home palliative care: a phenomenological study

Abstract : BackgroundThe development of end-of-life primary care is a socio-medical and ethical challenge. However, general practitioners (GPs) face many difficulties when initiating appropriate discussion on proactive shared palliative care. Anticipating palliative care is increasingly important given the ageing population and is an aim shared by many countries.We aimed to examine how French GPs approached and provided at-home palliative care. We inquired about their strategy for delivering care, and the skills and resources they used to devise new care strategies.MethodsTwenty-one GPs from the South of France recruited by phone according to their various experiences of palliative care agreed to participate. Semi-structured interview transcripts were examined using a phenomenological approach inspired by Grounded theory, and further studied with semiopragmatic analysis.ResultsOffering palliative care was perceived by GPs as a moral obligation. They felt vindicated in a process rooted in the paradigm values of their profession. This study results in two key findings: firstly, their patient-centred approach facilitated the anticipatory discussions of any potential event or intervention, which the GPs openly discussed with patients and their relatives; secondly, this approach contributed to build an “end-of-life project” meeting patients’ wishes and needs. The GPs all shared the idea that the end-of-life process required human presence and recommended that at-home care be coordinated and shared by multi-professional referring teams.ConclusionsThe main tenets of palliative care as provided by GPs are a patient-centred approach in the anticipatory discussion of potential events, personalized follow-up with referring multi-professional teams, and the collaborative design of an end-of-life project meeting the aspirations of the patient and his or her family. Consequently, coordination strategies involving specialized teams, GPs and families should be modelled according to the specificities of each care system.
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BMC Family Practice, BioMed Central, 2016, 18 (1), pp.27. 〈10.1186/s12875-017-0602-8〉
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Agnès Oude Engberink, Mélanie Badin, Philippe Serayet, Sylvain Pavageau, François Lucas, et al.. Patient-centeredness to anticipate and organize an end-of-life project for patients receiving at-home palliative care: a phenomenological study. BMC Family Practice, BioMed Central, 2016, 18 (1), pp.27. 〈10.1186/s12875-017-0602-8〉. 〈inserm-01475540〉

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