Authors: MKDL Meegoda, DMS Fernando, S Sivayogan and NOS Atulomah
Abstract: Global Development Report in 2014 highlighted that nine out of ten people in need of palliative care to relieve the pain and symptoms of a life-threatening illness, live in low income countries and a large majority of them are not receiving adequate care. Descriptive qualitative study was carried out in the National Institute of Cancer (NICM), the Cancer Home (CH) and Shantha Sevana Hospice (SSH), Maharagama and Ceylinco oncology unit Colombo. Purposive sample of nurses who provided palliative care to the adult cancer patients of the selected institutions were included to the study. Focus Group Discussions were conducted using semi-structured interviewer guide. Max Van Manen’s Phenomenological approach was followed to analyze qualitative data. Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the Ethical Review Committee of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Confidentiality and anonymity of the information gathered were maintained. Credibility, transferability and neutrality were maintained. Data saturation was received with three FGDs (twenty nurses’) about the nurses understanding of palliative care for cancer survivors. Thematic analysis of the data identified three key themes. 1) caring which emerged from three sub categories, provide need-based care of patients, provide quality care and feel satisfied. 2) inter- personal relationship which derived from collaborative care, nurse-patient relationship and close attention. 3) seek continuous education which derived from need to improve knowledge, need to improve skills and need to update knowledge. With the existing basic knowledge. Nurses’ tried to follow holistic approach which is essential for individualistic care that palliative care calls for. Measures to improve and extend the palliative care to the cancer survivors and the family in the current setting would be beneficial.
Keywords: Palliative care, holistic approach, continuous education