The importance of persepective: evaluating hospice care from multiple points of view



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Texas Tech University


Hospice is an important philosophy of care for terminally ill individuals seeking quality at the end of life. Previous studies have focused on the evaluation of hospice, palliative, and related programs, but none have surveyed the combined perspectives of all individual disciplines and participants involved in the hospice program. The purpose of the present study was to analyze the perspectives of participants and service delivery personnel of the hospice program to derive current experiences and assess overall satisfaction with the program, as well as gather ideas for future program development and enhancement to better serve its clients and the community. The setting for the study was a home-based hospice, located in a southwestern city, serving a 16-county area. Face-toface, tape-recorded interviews were conducted with 19 referring physicians, 19 staff members, eight bereaved family members, five current family members, four community members, and two patients. In addition, 16 volunteers participated in three focus groups. Interview questions varied depending on the study participants' involvement with the hospice program. After the interviews and focus groups were completed, they were transcribed verbatim for analysis. The interviews were analyzed by group (i.e., staff, family members, etc.) and by comparing across stakeholder groups to extract common themes. Analysis includes a description of the quality of service delivery and the satisfaction of participants, as well as ideas for potential growth and development for the program. Finally, strengths and limitations of the present study are addressed as well as ideas for future research.