Unmet Needs of the Indian Family Members of Terminally Ill Patients Receiving Palliative Care Services

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Abstract

Indian family caregivers experience significant stress when caring for relatives with a life-limiting illness. The introduction of home palliative care services in Australia has increased the burden on families, and caregivers are at risk of physical, psychological, and social problems. The aim of the study was to explore the needs of the family caregivers of Indians receiving palliative care services in Australia. A constructivist grounded theory methodology was used for the study. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 6 family caregivers from inpatient and home-based settings. Data were collected using semistructured interviews that were audio recorded. Data were analyzed using grounded theory. Three major themes emerged from the analysis as follows: impact of caregiving role, pain management, and lack of family support system. Caregivers had unmet needs including home care, psychological support, and financial help. Indian family caregivers in Australia had unmet needs such as lack of information, support services, and health care system issues that resulted in stress. Health professionals should identify these specific needs in order to support Indian family caregivers caring for patients with terminal illness.

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