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A Scoping Review of Undocumented Immigrants and Palliative Care: Implications for the Canadian Context

  • Lisa Seto NielsenEmail author
  • Zoë Goldstein
  • Doris Leung
  • Charlotte Lee
  • Catriona Buick
Review Paper

Abstract

Approximately 30–40 million undocumented immigrants worldwide suffer restricted health care. A scoping review was conducted to determine what is known about this population’s palliative end-of-life care experiences. The scoping review followed Arksey and O’Malley’s methodological framework. Databases searched included CINAHL, Medline, ProQuest, Scopus, and PHRED. Search terms included uninsured care, palliative care, undocumented immigrants, and terminally ill. The search revealed limited peer-reviewed and grey literature on the topic. A total of six articles met inclusion criteria, of which four were case descriptions. Barriers to palliative care included lack of advanced care planning, lack of health insurance, poverty, fear of deportation, and limited English ability. Undocumented immigrants were more likely to have delayed access to and inadequate palliative end-of-life care. If palliative care is a human right, it is imperative that further research be conducted and policies put in place to better serve this vulnerable population at end-of-life.

Keywords

Undocumented immigrants Palliative care End-of-life Access to care Scoping review 

Notes

Funding

Funding was provided by York University.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Seto Nielsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zoë Goldstein
    • 1
  • Doris Leung
    • 2
  • Charlotte Lee
    • 3
  • Catriona Buick
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Nursing, Faculty of HealthYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.School of NursingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  3. 3.Daphne Cockwell School of NursingRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Sunnybrook HospitalTorontoCanada

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