Objectives To explore the experiences of palliative care doctors regarding the clinical impact of ultrasound in specialist palliative care units (SPCUs).
Methods The study adopted a qualitative research design using semistructured interviews and a reflexivity journal. Six participants were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling. Findings were analysed using framework analysis.
Results Analysis used four predetermined themes: (1) practicalities, (2) clinical indications, (3) impact on patient care and service provision and (4) governance and training. Analysis identified a relationship between procedural confidence and use of ultrasound.
Conclusions Our study provides information for understanding the current use and limitations of ultrasound in SPCUs. Ultrasound leads to safer practice, especially when performing invasive procedures such as paracentesis. Development of standards around the use of, and training of staff undertaking ultrasound in specialist palliative care, are recommended.
- Symptoms and symptom management
- Hospice care
Data availability statement
Data are available upon request.
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Contributors PP conceived the study. PP and SM finalised the protocol. SM conducted the interviews, CE-B transcribed them. SM, BS and PP analysed the data. VT gave methodological advice. All authors critically revised drafts of the paper. They also read and approved the final version of the manuscript. PP is the guarantor.
Funding Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Research and Innovation Forum Fund paid for interview transcription.
Competing interests All authors have completed the Unified Competing Interests form at http://www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf (available on request from the corresponding author).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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