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36 Family carers’ experiences during the end of life care in a resource poor setting
  1. Dalhat Sani Khalid1,
  2. Gina Higginbottom2 and
  3. Christopher Bailey2
  1. 1Department of Nursing Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria-Nigeria
  2. 2School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham


Background Palliative and end of life care is an international issue but is receiving very little formal attention in Sub-Saharan Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, there is inadequate information and lack of accessibility to care. Research to inform adequate end of life care in Africa is at an early stage and many research areas need to be explored. Previous studies were carried out in western countries, but the information is culturally in-congruent and not transferable to poor resource context like Nigeria. This means that the information exists will not necessarily be helpful because of the cultural sensitivity, values, and beliefs attached to end of life care in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries. The study explored the experiences of family carers during the end of life care.

Method An ethnographic case study approach was used to explore family carers’ experiences during the end of life care in the medical unit of a Nigerian University Teaching hospital. Interviews and participant observations were used as the tools for data collection.

Results Fourteen family carers were interviewed separately, and each interview was preceded by a week of observations. Preliminary analysis identified five overarching themes: Challenges/barriers to end of life care, Family carers experiences, Educational needs and support, Family carers roles and Family carers’ perception about end of life care.

Conclusion Majority of the family carers described their end of life care experiences as unpleasant, there was lack of support generally and a wide communication gap between carers and healthcare professionals. The study generates evidence-based clinical and health services data to inform policy, practice and future research. At the same time to ensure that end of life care service provision in Nigeria is effective, appropriate, acceptable, ethical and culturally competent.

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