Exploring Aboriginal peoples' experience of relocation for treatment during end-of-life care

McGrath, Pam
March 2006
International Journal of Palliative Nursing;Mar2006, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p102
Academic Journal
Aim: To explore indigenous peoples' experience of relocation for medical treatment during end-of-life care. Methods: The data were collected from 72 qualitative interviews conducted throughout the regional, rural and remote areas of the Northern Territory, Australia, with Aboriginal patients and carers and the health professionals who cared for them. Results: Relocation for indigenous peoples is a frightening experience. There are a myriad of fears including: the fear of leaving home, especially for people who had never been away from their homelands; the fear of disempowerment associated with leaving the support of family networks; fears about hospital environments and 'high-tech' treatments; fear of cultural alienation for familiar foods and ways of being; fear of travel; fear of loneliness; fear of language and communication barriers; financial fears; and fear of dying away from the homeland. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate the strong need for building up local palliative care services and raise significant questions about the cultural appropriateness of the Western biomedical rationale for relocation during end-of-life care.


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