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Title: Barriers and impediments to providing end-of-life care in rural Australia
Contributor(s): Wark, Stuart  (author)orcid ; Hussain, Rafat  (author); Muller, Arne (author); Parmenter, Trevor  (author)
Publication Date: 2019
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Background Life expectancy for persons with intellectual disability has increased dramatically over the past decade, which has seen an associated rise in the need for end-of-life care. However, limited knowledge is available regarding the barriers to accessing necessary end-of- life care support, particularly in rural locations in Australia.

Method Focus group interviews were undertaken with disability support workers from four rural locations in NSW and Queensland. A semi-structured interview guide was used, with a focus on gaining an understanding of the barriers and impediments to providing appropriate and timely end-of-life care for individuals with intellectual disability. All focus group data were independently transcribed, with thematic analysis then performed.

Results The thematic analysis identified eleven key thematic areas under three over-arching levels; Government, including community infrastructure failings and inaccessible generic health services access, Organisation, which included internal policy & practice restrictions and poor staff training, and Individual, such as religious beliefs, personal relationships and end-of-life expectations.

Implications It is already known that access to services is often poor for rural residents. However, these findings indicated that rural people with intellectual disability are further restricted in their ability to access generic and specialist services during their end-of-life. Exemplars including the lack of counselling support, and access to appropriate residential options. Improved access to end-of- life services is urgently required in rural areas, with a need to consider implementing innovative care models. Development of specialist training and support models for both disability and general healthcare staff may assist to reduce some identified barriers.

Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: ASID 2019: 53rd Australian Society for Intellectual Disability Conference, Adelaide, Australia, 6th - 8th November, 2019
Source of Publication: The journey to a good life: Taking control, p. 1-22
Publisher: Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID)
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 111703 Care for Disabled
111702 Aged Health Care
111708 Health and Community Services
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420318 People with disability
420301 Aged health care
420305 Health and community services
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920403 Disability and Functional Capacity
920211 Palliative Care
920506 Rural Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200403 Disability and functional capacity
200309 Palliative care
200508 Rural and remote area health
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication
School of Rural Medicine

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