The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-017-0262-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
One ambition regarding palliative care is that it should be more accessible to patients and families regardless of care setting. Previous studies show many difficulties and shortcomings in the care of patients with palliative care needs in acute care facilities, but also challenges regarding efforts to implement palliative care. The aim of this study is to evaluate how the implementation of palliative care, using a combination of integration and consultation strategies, can change beliefs regarding palliative care among professionals in a surgical department.
In order to explore professionals’ experiential outcome of an educational implementation strategy, a before-after qualitative design was used. The study was based on three focus group discussions. Two discussions were conducted before introducing the implementation strategy and one was conducted after. The participants consisted of five nurses and two specialist surgeons from a surgical department in Sweden. The focus group discussions revealed a variety of different attitudes and beliefs, which were analysed using qualitative systematic text condensation.
Beliefs regarding palliative care were identified in seven areas; the importance of palliative care, working methods in palliative care, team collaboration in palliative care, collegial support, discussions about diagnosis, symptoms at the end of life, and families of patients in palliative care. Changes in beliefs were seen in all areas except one: team collaboration in palliative care.
It is possible to change the beliefs of health care professionals in a surgical department regarding palliative care through the implementation of palliative knowledge. Beliefs were changed from an individual to a collective development where the group initiated a shared palliative working method. The changes observed were palliative care being described as more complex and participants differentiating between surgical care and palliative care.
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