Vol 14, No 4 (2020)
Review paper
Published online: 2020-12-22

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The model of care provided to families of patients treated in stationary hospice

Arkadiusz Błaszczyk1, Iwona Barbara Wasilewko2
Palliat Med Pract 2020;14(4):295-301.

Abstract

Cancer patients require specialist medical care and, frequently, round-the-clock involvement of the family
which may exceed the caregivers’ coping ability. In such a situation, inpatient palliative/hospice care seems
to be the best solution for everyone. The good mental and physical state of the family positively affects
the quality of patient care, also provided in stationary care facilities. This article presents the methods of
supporting families of patients, developed by an inpatient hospice team, which depend on the attitudes
presented by families and are adjusted to their needs. Based on the discussions with families, three attitudes
have been identified: an attitude dominated by fear, anxiety and depression, an attitude dominated by
embarrassment and guilt, and an attitude dominated by self-interest, dealing and negotiation.
Support for families begins with the interview qualifying the patients for the inpatient hospice, and it
covers the period of waiting for admission, the patient’s stay in the hospice, including the period of dying
and grieving the loss of a loved one. Such an approach is beneficial for patients and all those involved in
the process of care; it promotes effective communication, lowers the level of negative emotions and, as
a result, prevents conflicts and facilitates the focus on the patients’ needs.

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Palliative Medicine in Practice