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Home care assistants' attitudes and perceptions of caring for people at the end of life in their homes in Sweden
Karolinska institutet; Sophiahemmet högskola.
Jönköping University.
Närsjukvården i Finspång.
Hälso- och sjukvårdsorganisationen, Finspång.
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2022 (English)In: Health & Social Care in the Community, ISSN 0966-0410, E-ISSN 1365-2524, Vol. 30, no 5, p. e2648-e2656Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The ageing population is increasing worldwide, with older people often having multimorbidity and a need for help with activities and personal care. Home Care Assistants (HCAs) are central to the provision of care in the home. They meet older people approaching the end of life and their relatives. Little is known about HCAs attitudes towards caring for a dying person and how aspects such as education, age, earlier care experiences, care education and experience of caring for dying older people affect their attitudes. The aim was to describe HCAs' attitudes towards the care of dying persons living in their ordinary homes. This cross-sectional study used the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale (FATCOD) for data collection during December 2017 and January 2018, and descriptive statistics and regression analysis for data analysis. The participants were HCAs (n = 127, 96% of those eligible) in a municipality in central Sweden. An overall positive attitude was reported. About 32% lacked formal HCA education although 93% had experience of interacting with a dying person. Age, HCA education, internal palliative care education, number of years' experience and previous experience of caring for a dying person were independently associated with HCAs' attitudes. In the multivariate regression analysis, age and years of experience were the only significant predictors of HCAs' attitudes towards caring for dying care recipients. Young employees without HCA education and experience of a dying person might be vulnerable in situations involving caring for a dying person. Communicating about death and dying, forming a relationship with the care recipient and the family, and providing care when a person is dying can be challenging. Implications: Young employees without HCA education and experience of interacting with a dying person needs to be prepared for the situation. This needs to be considered by stakeholders and social and healthcare organisations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 30, no 5, p. e2648-e2656
Keywords [en]
Frommelt, Death, End-of-life care, Home care assistants, Questionnaire
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-9374DOI: 10.1111/hsc.13708ISI: 000741273800001PubMedID: 35018690OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-9374DiVA, id: diva2:1630373
Available from: 2022-01-20 Created: 2022-01-20 Last updated: 2022-08-29Bibliographically approved

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