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      Visioning for secondary palliative care service hubs in rural communities: a qualitative case study from British Columbia's interior

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          As the populations of many developed nations continue to age at rapid rates it is becoming increasingly important to enhance palliative care service delivery in order to meet anticipated demand. Rural areas face a number of challenges in doing this, and thus dedicated attention must be given to determining how to best enhance service delivery in ways that are sensitive to their particular needs. The purposes of this article are to determine the vision for establishing secondary palliative care service hubs (SPCH) in rural communities through undertaking a case study, and to ascertain the criteria that need to be considered when siting such hubs.


          A rural region of British Columbia, Canada was selected for primary data collection, which took place over a five-month period in 2008. Formal and informal palliative care providers ( n = 31) were interviewed. A purposeful recruitment strategy was used to maximize occupational and practice diversity. Interviews were conducted by phone using a semi-structured guide. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were managed using NVivo8™ software and analyzed thematically, using investigator triangulation to strengthen interpretation.


          Four themes emerged from the dataset: (1) main SPCH features; (2) determining a location; (3) value-added outcomes; and (4) key considerations. It was found that participants generally supported implementing a SPCH in the rural region of focus. Several consistent messages emerged, including that: (1) SPCHs must create opportunities for two-way information exchange between specialists and generalists and communities; (2) SPCHs should diffuse information and ideas throughout the region, thus serving as a locus for education and a means of enhancing training opportunities; and (3) hubs need not be physical sites in the community (e.g., an office in a hospice or hospital), but may be virtual or take other forms based upon local needs.


          Visioning innovation in the provision of palliative care service in rural communities can be enhanced by consultation with local providers. Interviews are a means of determining local concerns and priorities. There was widespread support for SPCH coupled with some uncertainty about means of implementation.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Validity in qualitative research.

          Much contemporary dialogue has centered on the difficulty of establishing validity criteria in qualitative research. Developing validity standards in qualitative research is challenging because of the necessity to incorporate rigor and subjectivity as well as creativity into the scientific process. This article explores the extant issues related to the science and art of qualitative research and proposes a synthesis of contemporary viewpoints. A distinction between primary and secondary validity criteria in qualitative research is made with credibility, authenticity, criticality, and integrity identified as primary validity criteria and explicitness, vividness, creativity, thoroughness, congruence, and sensitivity identified as secondary validity criteria.
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            Case Study Research. Principles and Practices

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              Preferences for place of care and place of death among informal caregivers of the terminally ill.

              (1) To determine informal caregivers perceptions about place of care and place of death; and (2) to identify variables associated with a home death among terminally ill individuals who received in-home support services in a publicly funded home care system. A total of 216 informal caregivers participated in a bereavement interview. Data collection included care recipient and informal caregiver characteristics, the use of and satisfaction with community services, and preferences about place of death. Most caregivers reported that they and the care recipient had a preferred place of death (77 and 68%, respectively) with over 63% reporting home as the preferred place of death. Caregivers had a greater preference for an institutional death (14%) than care recipients (4.7%). While 30% of care recipients did not die in their preferred location, most caregivers (92%) felt, in retrospect, that where the care recipient died was the appropriate place of death. Most caregivers reported being satisfied with the care that was provided. The odds of dying at home were greater when the care recipient stated a preference for place of death (OR: 2.92; 95% CI: 1.25, 6.85), and the family physician made home visits during the care recipients last month of life (Univariate odds ratios (OR): 4.42; 95% CI: 1.46, 13.36). The ethic of self-control and choice for the care recipient must be balanced with consideration for the well being of the informal caregiver and responsiveness of the community service system.

                Author and article information

                BMC Palliat Care
                BMC Palliative Care
                BioMed Central
                9 October 2009
                : 8
                : 15
                [1 ]Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada
                [2 ]School of Resource & Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, 6100 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3J5, Canada
                [3 ]Geography Program, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, British Columbia, V2N 4Z9, Canada
                Copyright © 2009 Crooks et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Anesthesiology & Pain management


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