Exploring district nurses’ reluctance to refer palliative care patients for physiotherapy

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Aim: To explore district nurses’ beliefs regarding referral of a patientreceiving palliative care for physiotherapy. Method: Three focusgroups, guided by the Theory of Planned Behaviour, were undertakenwith a purposive sample of 16 district nurses. All were audio-recorded,transcribed, and subject to content analysis. Results: Nine beliefs wereidentified as influencing referral decisions, the majority of which werenegative, such as the belief that physiotherapists lack palliative careskills and could foster false hope. Additional barriers to referralincluded a lack of contact and communication with physiotherapists,poor knowledge or experience of physiotherapy, unsuitable referralsystems, and poor availability of services. Conclusion: These findingshelp to explain why so few patients receiving palliative care accessrehabilitation services. To ensure that patients have appropriate accessto palliative rehabilitation, there needs to be consideration of how theidentified barriers can be overcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2012


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