Solidarity and suffering: enrolled terminal patients’ and their caregiver’s experiences of the community-based palliative care programme in an urban slum of Bangladesh

Akter, Sayema, Sarker, Malabika, Hossain, Puspita, Ahmad, Nezamuddin and Zaman, Shahaduz (2022) Solidarity and suffering: enrolled terminal patients’ and their caregiver’s experiences of the community-based palliative care programme in an urban slum of Bangladesh. Palliative Care and Social Practice, 16. pp. 1-12. ISSN 2632-3524

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Abstract

Background:
Palliative care has been recognised as a global health challenge. Although accessibility has increased, there is little recognition of the importance of palliative care in low- and middle-income countries. In Bangladesh, institutional palliative care is not accessible due to a lack of awareness, financial constraints, and fewer facilities. Hence, there needs to be a better understanding of providing and improving existing community-based palliative care. For this, it is essential to understand the experiences of patients and their caregivers who require palliative care. With this aim, this study explores the experiences of palliative patients and their primary caregivers enrolled in a palliative care project, ‘Momotamoy Korail’ run by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in an urban slum, Dhaka.

Methods:
This research is a part of a larger qualitative study that relied on a focused ethnographic approach. For this study, we used 19 in-depth interviews following a semi-structured guideline with the palliative care patients and their primary caregivers enrolled in the community-based palliative care project.

Results:
Mostly women (wives and daughters-in-law) are the primary caregivers in a family. Therefore, male patients are more likely to receive family care than female patients. Both male and female patients expressed the desire for a death free of suffering. All patients felt lonely and socially abandoned with a perception of being a burden to their families. Despite the diversity in physical, social, psychological, and financial suffering, patients and caregivers were optimistic towards a healthy life free of illness. All respondents were satisfied with the care they received from the palliative care assistants, which provide them hope and dignity for life.

Conclusion:
Experiences of the respondents can improve the quality of the existing community-based palliative care services and add great value to the discipline of palliative care in public health. The findings provided an understanding of what would be required to extend community-based palliative care to other healthcare settings. More awareness through community mobilisation about the need for and benefit of palliative care is needed to make it sustainable.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 07:21
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 13:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/105235

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