Background Following evaluation of our Care@Home project, it was noted that no referrals had been received for care home service users (CHSU). Given current research regarding end-of-life care in care homes, discussions were held with health and social care colleagues. As a result two local care homes agreed to be part of this pilot study.
Aims To identify if an existing service in patients’ homes could be transferred to a care home setting, measuring impact on palliative care CHSU displaying physical and/or psychological symptoms of their life-limiting, progressive illness.
Methodology A prospective pilot study of complementary therapy provision, utilising snowball sampling of CHSU (n = 8) in collaboration with care home staff, using mix of assessment tools to capture and measure pre/post therapy data.
Results To date, data captured from assessment tools indicates a 100% reduction in non-verbal signs of distress, and a 77% reduction in physical changes (arm and hand contractures). Qualitative feedback from service users/family members/care home staff has shown a 100% improvement in sleep pattern, agitation, anxiety, tension and responsiveness, and a 75% improvement in diet. In those CHSU where constipation was cited as a symptom, IPOS2 results indicate a 100% reduction in constipation.
However, both the DisDATresults and qualitative feedback show little post-therapy improvement in confusion levels.
Conclusions From results received to date, the authors conclude that it would be beneficial to continue providing complementary therapies to CHSU. Further funding would allow this continuation, as well as study expansion/further research.
The authors’ employer funded this study.
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