The significance of the COVID-19 pandemic for family caregivers of non-COVID-19 patients in need of specialized palliative care at home: a qualitative study.

Gitte Wind, Helle Vedsegaard, Kristoffer Maarsaa, Trine Solander True, Hanne Konradsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: It is well known that being a family caregiver of a palliative patient in general is rewarding as well as burdensome. The COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated this situation. We therefore explored the significance of the COVID-19 pandemic for family caregivers of non-COVID-19 patients in need of specialized palliative care at home. Methods: Open-ended, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 15 family caregivers of patients treated by a specialized palliative outpatient unit in a Danish hospital. Interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Four themes concerning the significance of the COVID-19 pandemic were identified: 1) being a family caregiver of a patient whose lifespan is already limited, 2) dealing with the risk of passing on COVID-19 oneself, 3) dealing with the risk of others passing on COVID-19 to the patient at home, and 4) living with modified specialized palliative care. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic had a radical impact on some family caregivers causing emotional despair. They feared not only infecting the patient with SARS-CoV-2 to cause an untimely death but also being unable to be there for the patient during hospitalization, especially in the patient’s final days.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2113021
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Volume17
Issue number1
ISSN1748-2623
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • next of kin
  • terminally ill
  • palliation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The significance of the COVID-19 pandemic for family caregivers of non-COVID-19 patients in need of specialized palliative care at home: a qualitative study.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this