Background There is evidence that gender influences many aspects of end of life experience (Gott, Morgan, Williams. Palliat Care Social Pract. 2020; 14, 2632352420957997; Ullrich, Grube, Hlawatsch, et al. BMC Palliat Care. 2019; 18, 1–10). There is a need to understand whether gender inequity exists in palliative care services and how to adopt gender sensitive practices to improve end of life experiences for all.
Aims To explore gender differences in use of palliative care services, time from referral to death, preference for place of death and place of death and also to explore palliative care staff’s views on the impact of gender on palliative care access and experiences.
Methods Service evaluation of routinely collected data from hospices and community nursing services across the UK (Jan 2019 to December 2022), summarised using descriptive statistics. Focus groups with palliative care staff from hospices and community nursing teams in Scotland and Wales, analysed using thematic analysis.
Results 90,614 data points were analysed. A roughly even split between male (51%) and female (48%) patients was observed. The majority of patients were white British (82%). Large amounts of missing data relating to personal characteristics were observed. No differences were noted in other variables explored. Focus group explored the influence of gender for patients with palliative care needs and their informal carers, including family and gender norms around caring and accessing support. The limited diversity among palliative care patients, inexperience around supporting people who were transgender and factors other than gender that influence experiences were also discussed.
Conclusions While quantitative data suggests limited differences in access to care, qualitative data suggests differences in the experiences of palliative care for people of different genders. An intersectional mindset is needed to ensure everyone has the best possible end of life experiences. To enable explorations of intersectionality, we must support staff to improve the collection of personal characteristics in practice to support future research and service delivery.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.