Patients and Family Caregivers Understandings and Experiences
This study has provided insights about the use of a syringe driver to relieve symptoms in palliative care from direct conversations with 27 people (12 patient/family caregiver couples and 3 caregivers) experiencing palliative care as a patient or as a family caregivers. Without exception using a syringe driver made a very positive difference in all their lives at this precious time. In particular the swift relief of symptoms achieved when they were able to receive the prescribed medications changed their lives immeasurably. As Geoff said “It gave me life!”
This study highlights the need for all palliative care practitioners to listen to and to learn from patients and their families about what is most meaningful for them at this time.
Patients and their family caregivers declared “Don’t wait until we are struggling”. Consider using a syringe driver when swift control of distressing symptoms is required. This may be a temporary measure that can be repeated if needed. This may be a final intervention as life passes and families grieve, knowing their person made the transition from life to death with all the care and consideration possible.
This could likely involved reviewing perhaps long held practices based on clinical directives.
The directives from this study come directly from the words of those most intimately involved: patients and their family caregivers receiving palliative care. It may invoke a renewed reflection about conversations with people who are dying. To listen and learn.
About the Murray Bond Research Fellowship
The Te Omanga Hospice Foundation Murray Bond Research Fellowship is sponsored by the Te Omanga Hospice Foundation for the benefit of the palliative care community locally, nationally and internationally.
The Te Omanga Hospice Foundation Murray Bond Research Fellowship was established in 2011 to recognise the outstanding contribution of Mr Murray Bond, former Board Member of the Te Omanga Hospice Trust and the Te Omanga Hospice Foundation. Mr Bond served Te Omanga Hospice for almost 20 years and was its Fundraising Chairman from 1997 to 2004.
The inaugural Te Omanga Murray Bond Research Fellowship was established and awarded to Valerie Norton in March 2011 so the study could be undertaken.