Journal of palliative medicine 2017 10 13() doi 10.1089/jpm.2017.0331
Despite the number of interprofessional team members caring for children at the end of life, little evidence exists on how institutions can support their staff in providing care in these situations.
We sought to evaluate which aspects of the hospital work environment were most helpful for multidisciplinary team members who care for patients at the end of life and identify areas for improvement to better address staff needs.
Qualitative thematic analysis was completed of free-text comments from a survey distributed to interprofessional staff members involved in the care of a recently deceased pediatric patient. A total of 2701 surveys were sent; 890 completed. Free-text responses were provided by 306 interprofessional team members.
Interprofessional team members involved in the care of a child who died at a 348 bed academic children’s hospital in the Midwestern United States.
Realist thematic analysis of free-text responses was completed in Dedoose using a deductive and inductive approach with line-by-line coding. Descriptive statistics of demographic information was completed using Excel.
Thematic analysis of the 306 free-text responses identified three main support-related themes. Interprofessional team members desire to have (1) support through educational efforts such as workshops, (2) support from colleagues, and (3) support through institutional practices.
Providers who participate in end-of-life work benefit from ongoing support through education, interpersonal relationships, and institutional practices. Addressing these areas from an interprofessional perspective enables staff to provide the optimal care for patients, patients’ families, and themselves.