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Palliative Care Professionals' Perceptions of Effective Interpersonal Communication in the Context of Caring for Older Adults in Rural Settings

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The purpose of this article was to report an in-depth appraisal of palliative care professionals’ perceptions of effective interpersonal communication while providing palliative care for older adults in rural settings. A total of four focus group interviews were conducted involving 12 palliative care professionals who were practicing in rural settings in a Western Canadian province. Data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings of this study suggest the importance of: a) understanding the context of aging and dying in rural settings, b) focusing on essential information needs, and c) effective interpersonal communication within this context. The factors related to effective interpersonal communication between professionals and care recipients and their family members could be grouped into three themes: i) rural care ‘for your own,’ ii) independence and individuality, and iii) timing and early access/rural rapport. Although the challenges of providing integrated palliative care services in rural areas were apparent in this study, from an interpersonal perspective, the participants were connected to their patients/family members. They often viewed their older care recipients as part of their own lives. Having a rural sense of closeness and community connection seemed to have a positive impact on the professional participants. The participants also felt that their sense of closeness also provided a sense of peace for their care recipients.

  • Date created
    2012
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3G299
  • License
    © 2012 Rural Development Institute, Brandon University. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Penz, K., Duggleby, W.D., Wilson, D., Williams, A., Leipert, B., Marshall, D., Goodridge, D., & Cooper, L. (2012). Palliative Care Professionals' Perceptions of Effective Interpersonal Communication in the Context of Caring for Older Adults in Rural Settings. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 7(4), 20-37.