Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 163–170 | Cite as

Hospice at Home service: the carer’s perspective

Original Article


Goals of the work

The aim of this study was to explore the bereaved caregivers’ experience of the Hospice at Home service delivered in one region of the UK.

Materials and methods

Three hundred and ten bereaved caregivers identified by the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team or Hospice at Home nurse, who met inclusion criteria, were sent a postal questionnaire to explore their views and experiences of the Hospice at Home service. Data were collected during 2002.

Main results

In total, 128 caregivers responded, providing a 41% response rate. Most caregivers believed that the Hospice at Home service enabled their loved one’s wish to be cared for and to die at home to be fulfilled. A number of suggestions were made relating to increased awareness of the service, training for staff, coordination of service delivery and bereavement support.


The bereaved caregivers were thankful for the Hospice at Home service; however, the need for practical support, increased awareness of the Hospice at Home service and bereavement support were also identified. Although the bereaved caregivers provided a valuable insight in evaluating service provision, it is acknowledged that some caregivers are often so grateful for the treatment and care received that they tend to forget or ignore their less pleasant experiences. Further research is therefore required using an in-depth qualitative approach investigating on the carers’ views and experiences of accessing the Hospice at Home service.


Palliative care Hospice at home Family caregivers Bereaved caregivers’ experience Support by health professionals 



We would like to acknowledge Allison Spence, Beverley Craig, Kathy Roddy and Sandra Fulton from the Hospice at Home service for their contributions to this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorry McLaughlin
    • 1
  • Kate Sullivan
    • 2
  • Felicity Hasson
    • 3
  1. 1.Northern Ireland Hospice CareBelfastUK
  2. 2.North East Wales InstituteWrexhamUK
  3. 3.Institute of Nursing ResearchUniversity of UlsterNewtownabbeyUK

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