JOURNAL ARTICLE

Volunteers in specialist palliative care: a survey of adult services in the United Kingdom

Rachel Burbeck, Joe Low, Elizabeth L Sampson, Ruth Bravery, Matthew Hill, Sara Morris, Nick Ockenden, Sheila Payne, Bridget Candy
Journal of Palliative Medicine 2014, 17 (5): 568-74
24475743

BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the demand for specialist palliative care is increasing but funding is limited. The role of volunteers is underresearched, although their contribution reduces costs significantly. Understanding what volunteers do is vital to ensure services develop appropriately to meet the challenges faced by providers of palliative care.

OBJECTIVE: The study's objective is to describe current involvement of volunteers with direct patient/family contact in U.K. specialist palliative care.

DESIGN: An online survey was sent to 290 U.K. adult hospices and specialist palliative care services involving volunteers covering service characteristics, involvement and numbers of volunteers, settings in which they are involved, extent of involvement in care services, specific activities undertaken in each setting, and use of professional skills.

RESULTS: The survey had a 67% response rate. Volunteers were most commonly involved in day care and bereavement services. They entirely ran some complementary therapy, beauty therapy/hairdressing, and pastoral/faith-based care services, and were involved in a wide range of activities, including sitting with dying patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This comprehensive survey of volunteer activity in U.K. specialist palliative care provides an up-to-date picture of volunteer involvement in direct contact with patients and their families, such as providing emotional care, and the extent of their involvement in day and bereavement services. Further research could focus on exploring their involvement in bereavement care.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
24475743
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"