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Health Care Professionals ’ Understandings of Cross-Cultural Interaction in End-of-Life Care: A Focus Group Study

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Objective: The academic debate on cross-cultural interaction within the context of end-of-life care takes for granted that this interaction is challenging. However, few empirical studies have actually focused on what health care professionals think about this interaction. This study aimed to explore health care professionals’ understandings of cross-cultural interaction during end-of-life care.

Methods: Sixty end-of-life care professionals were recruited from eleven care units in Sweden to take part in focus group interviews. These interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: The health care professionals interviewed talked about cross-cultural interaction in end-of-life care as interaction that brings about uncertainty, stress and frustration even though they had limited experience of this type of interaction. The focus group discussions brought attention to four specific challenges that they expected to meet when they care for patients with migrant backgrounds since they took for granted that they would have an ethno-cultural background that is different to their own. These challenges had to do with communication barriers, ‘unusual’ emotional and pain expressions, the expectation that these patients’ families would be ‘different’ and the anticipation that these patients and their families lack knowledge. At the core of the challenges in question is the idea that cross-cultural interaction means meeting “the unknown”. In addition, the end-of-life care professionals interviewed talked about patients whose backgrounds they did not share in homogenizing terms. It is against this backdrop that they worried about their ability to provide end-of-life care that is individualized enough to meet the needs of these patients.

Conclusions: The study suggests that end-of-life care professionals who regard cross-cultural interaction in this manner could face actual challenges when caring for patients whose backgrounds they regard as “the unknown” since they anticipate a variety of challenges and do not seem confident enough that they can provide good quality care when cross-cultural interaction is at stake.

No MeSH data available.


Overview of the findings regarding health care professionals’ understandings of cross-cultural interaction in end-of-life care,
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120777&req=5

pone.0165452.g001: Overview of the findings regarding health care professionals’ understandings of cross-cultural interaction in end-of-life care,

Mentions: Three categories, four sub-categories and one theme emerged in the analysis of the focus group interviews, see Fig 1.


Health Care Professionals ’ Understandings of Cross-Cultural Interaction in End-of-Life Care: A Focus Group Study
Overview of the findings regarding health care professionals’ understandings of cross-cultural interaction in end-of-life care,
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120777&req=5

pone.0165452.g001: Overview of the findings regarding health care professionals’ understandings of cross-cultural interaction in end-of-life care,
Mentions: Three categories, four sub-categories and one theme emerged in the analysis of the focus group interviews, see Fig 1.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Objective: The academic debate on cross-cultural interaction within the context of end-of-life care takes for granted that this interaction is challenging. However, few empirical studies have actually focused on what health care professionals think about this interaction. This study aimed to explore health care professionals’ understandings of cross-cultural interaction during end-of-life care.

Methods: Sixty end-of-life care professionals were recruited from eleven care units in Sweden to take part in focus group interviews. These interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: The health care professionals interviewed talked about cross-cultural interaction in end-of-life care as interaction that brings about uncertainty, stress and frustration even though they had limited experience of this type of interaction. The focus group discussions brought attention to four specific challenges that they expected to meet when they care for patients with migrant backgrounds since they took for granted that they would have an ethno-cultural background that is different to their own. These challenges had to do with communication barriers, ‘unusual’ emotional and pain expressions, the expectation that these patients’ families would be ‘different’ and the anticipation that these patients and their families lack knowledge. At the core of the challenges in question is the idea that cross-cultural interaction means meeting “the unknown”. In addition, the end-of-life care professionals interviewed talked about patients whose backgrounds they did not share in homogenizing terms. It is against this backdrop that they worried about their ability to provide end-of-life care that is individualized enough to meet the needs of these patients.

Conclusions: The study suggests that end-of-life care professionals who regard cross-cultural interaction in this manner could face actual challenges when caring for patients whose backgrounds they regard as “the unknown” since they anticipate a variety of challenges and do not seem confident enough that they can provide good quality care when cross-cultural interaction is at stake.

No MeSH data available.