Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic revealed and exacerbated many long-standing inequalities. British Muslims are an ethnically diverse population including many groups at greater risk of worse COVID-19 outcomes. The highest age-standardised mortality rates of COVID-19 deaths were within ethnic groups that make up the largest proportions of the British Muslim community. Little research exists exploring the particular experiences of British Muslims with palliative care needs, and their caregivers during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Aims To explore key issues for British Muslims with palliative care needs during the pandemic, and how to improve community support for this group, in collaboration with peer researchers.
Method Members of the Muslim community (peer researchers) were supported to gather the pandemic experiences of British Muslims with palliative care needs, and their caregivers using telephone interviews. Peer researchers received training in qualitative research methods and interviews were conducted in a variety of languages. Peer researchers were supported to combine their lived experience with the data collected to codesign recommendations for best practice and community support for this group. The following were explored during data collection; impact of restrictions, sources of COVID 19 related information, health care access or delays, sources of support (both emotional and practical), shielding and bereavement.
Results This research will help us to better understand the impact of the pandemic on health and social well-being, for Muslim people with palliative care needs both during the pandemic and into the coming years.
Conclusion As COVID-19 changes from pandemic to endemic, learning from British Muslims’ experiences is crucial for shaping ongoing support. This is particularly true for groups with historically poor access to palliative care support.
Impact Learning from this project will feed into recommendations for the delivery of community palliative care support for British Muslims with potential relevance for both to Marie Curie and wider services.
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