Background Research which concerns the experiences and expectations of people with mental illnesses and terminal conditions is extremely limited both in the UK and internationally. What is known is that people with mental ill health experience higher rates of many physical health issues, later diagnosis and poorer prognosis than the general population (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2013). People with mental illness experience many barriers when trying to access palliative and end of life care services and are poorly supported following terminal diagnosis by mental health services (Jerwood, Phimister, Ward et al., 2018).
Aim The aim of this research was to conduct interviews with patients with histories of mental illness and terminal physical conditions, and their carers, to better understand their experiences and expectations of palliative and end of life care, and how more effective support and care could be provided by palliative, end of life and mental health care services.
Method Eight semi-structured interviews were carried out with patients and carers. Interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) carried out. Key themes were drawn from the interview data. These themes were used to inform a co-design process to develop a resource to improve care.
Findings This is the first research study which explores the views of patients (and their carers) with mental illnesses and terminal conditions about their end of life care needs, experiences and expectations. Key themes from the interviews will be presented with implications for clinical practice explored.
NB – The findings are being written up at the time of submitting this abstract so this will be completed work by the time of the conference.
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