Improving caregivers experience: enhancing end-of-life care for residents

Christine Boomer, Margaret Ross, Donna Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Global demographic changes are resulting in an ageing population with increasingly complex needs and comorbidities. The nursing home sector will increasingly play a critical role in the care for people at the end of life. Education for staff in this sector is variable in nature, with little evidence of its impact on practice. Practice development aims to enhance person-centred and evidence informed cultures.
Aim: To develop and evaluate participants’ palliative and end-of-life care knowledge, enabling them to develop and transform care practices in the homes.
Methods: A practice development programme for registered nurses and care assistants in two nursing homes. Evaluation data was collected at the start of the programme and six months after its completion, via focus groups, self-assessment, record reviews, reflective diaries, on to one manager interviews, and evaluations and notes from meetings and sessions. Data also informed activities within the programme and its evaluation. A creative hermeneutic approach was adopted for overall data analysis.
Findings: Findings confirm the strength of adopting a PD approach to underpin a staff education programme. Integrating registered nurses and care assistants in the learning environment enhanced working relationships and translated into a more healthful workplace culture and enhanced person-centred end of life care.
Implications for practice:
•Integrating practice development into staff education for nursing home staff is an effective means of developing their knowledge and skills and seeing this integrated into practice.
•As global demographics change, this sector will have a major role to play in end of life care, therefore a more systematic approach to the development of nursing home staff is required to enhance person-centred end of life care in this sector.
Key words: Palliative care, end of life care, practice development, nursing homes, person-centred, education
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Practice Development Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 May 2019


  • Palliative care
  • education
  • person-centred
  • nursing homes
  • practice development
  • end-of-life care


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