Background The systematic review examined what is the experience of home care workers caring for people with palliative and end of life care needs living at home.
Methods The review was conducted using a hermeneutic approach. The databases CINAHL, PUBMED, Social Care Online and Social Services Abstracts were searched, literature searching completed in September 2018. 1636 papers were screened by title, 424 screened by abstract with 21 studies meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All included studies were appraised for quality using a critical appraisal tool.
Results Ten themes arose from the synthesis. This workforce is largely female, and financially vulnerable with a lack of employment benefits. Their working environment can be extremely challenging due to limited time to deliver care to patients and families with complex and changing needs. Management and organisational support is limited. Grief and burnout is also experienced by home care workers. There is also a lack of access to education, the literature provides no clarity in the type of education and training that is required or how this could be better accessed by home care workers. Despite this, home care workers perspective on their role demonstrates a strong sense of reward in delivering personal care and emotional support.
Conclusion This hermeneutic review demonstrates there is a need to further understand what the education and support needs of home care workers caring for people with palliative care needs in the community are.