During the early COVID-19 epidemic, many hospice patients were physically segregated from family members and healthcare staff. Researchers sought to evaluate the lived experience of physical separation for hospice patients and family carers who followed public health guidelines to limit COVID-19 transmission in 2020.

Investigators undertook a secondary analysis of qualitative data obtained during a multi-site clinical trial of an intervention that included family caregivers in care plan reviews during biweekly hospice multi-disciplinary team meetings. Between March 7, 2020, and June 10, 2020, twenty-eight adult family caregivers of hospice patients with cancer took part in at least one care plan review. The transcribed content of 60 care plan reviews was included in the final analytic dataset, which was analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. 

Physical separation occurred between hospice patients and their family caregivers, resulting in the possibility of unfulfilled informational, functional, social, and emotional demands. Connection techniques used to adjust to care disruptions and address patient and caregiver needs were ineffective continuously. When physical presence must be limited, inclusive, creative connecting tactics are required to guarantee that hospice patients and their family caregivers get high-quality end-of-life care.