Hospice palliative care volunteers



Title Hospice palliative care volunteers: a unique care link
Author(s) Lori E. Weeks, Colleen R. MacQuarrie, O. B. Pei
Journal Journal of Palliative Care
Date 2008
Volume 24
Issue 2
Start page 85
End page 93
Abstract In this research, we endeavoured to gain a clearer understanding of what impact hospice palliative care (HPC) volunteers have on family caregivers and the underlying factors that contribute to this. We conducted ten face-to-face interviews with bereaved women who had previously provided care for their spouses and who used HPC volunteers. We checked our interpretation through a feedback focus group. Using a methodological hermeneutic approach, we came to understand the unique position HPC volunteers occupy within the formal health care system. Our constitutive organizing theme was manifest throughout the women's stories in seven thematic areas that explicate the dimensions of the overarching theme: the Unique Care Link. We identified seven themes that exemplify specific ways in which HPC volunteers have a positive impact on the lives of spousal caregivers. This knowledge can be incorporated into the further development of training and support programs for HPC volunteers, and to increase the quality of volunteer HPC services provided to family members.

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