Background Family carers play a central role in community-based palliative care. However, caring for a terminally ill person puts the carer at increased risk of physical and mental morbidity, which is detrimental for both carer and patient (Williams & McCorkle, 2011). The validated Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) provides a comprehensive measure of carer support needs and is intended for use in community palliative care (Ewing & Grande 2013). The CSNAT creates an opportunity for carers to discuss their needs with healthcare professionals, facilitating the provision of appropriate support. A recent audit demonstrated poor use of the CSNAT in a Scottish community specialist palliative care service despite training and support.
Aims To identify barriers and facilitators to implementation of the CSNAT in a community specialist palliative care service.
Methods A qualitative study was undertaken, involving interviews with 12 palliative care nurse specialists from two community nursing teams in Lothian, Scotland. Data was audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed using a framework approach.
Results Data analysis is in progress. The results will identify factors which enable and prevent the use of the CSNAT in a community palliative care setting. Recommendations for improving the acceptability of the CSNAT will be developed.
Conclusion Findings from this study have the potential to enhance engagement with the CSNAT, make it more congruent with current nursing practice, and improve the experience of carers of people approaching the end-of-life.