‘Case Stories’ is an interdisciplinary project on transnational dying. The project aims to better understand the pain of social exclusion, inequality and injustice at the end of life through stories.
The Case Stories website contains a wealth of information on dying as a migrant, ranging from personal accounts of using palliative care services to artwork and poetry inspired by people’s stories.
The project is the brainchild of Sociologist Yasmin Gunaratnam and supported by a British Academy Fellowship.
We would like to draw your attention to a special issue of the journal Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry that focuses on the issue of cultural competence in healthcare.
The issue examines how concepts of cultural competence are operationalised in teaching interventions. Of particular interest to our international readership is the inclusion of a case study from Canada and an essay from a German clinical educator, illustrating how cultural competency approaches, which originated in the US, can be adapted to different countries and settings.
A research team from New Zealand has recently published an article on the priorities for developing culturally appropriate palliative and end-of-life care for older people.
Bellamy and Gott (2013) What are the priorities for developing culturally appropriate palliative and end-of-life care for older people? The views of healthcare staff working in New Zealand. Health and Social Care in the Community. 21(1), 26–34
The abstract is reproduced below and the full article can be accessed here.
This paper explores the views of healthcare staff regarding the provision of culturally appropriate palliative care for Māori, PacificIsland and Chinese elders living in Auckland, New Zealand. The ageing population is culturally and ethnically diverse and, along with other developed countries experiencing high levels of migration, the challenge is balancing the rise in numbers of older people from different ethnic and cultural groups with end-of-life care, which reflects personal values and beliefs. Two joint interviews and ten focus groups were conducted with eighty staff across a range of primary, secondary and speciality care settings in 2010. The findings demonstrated that participants viewed the involvement of family as fundamental to the provision of palliative care for Māori, PacificIsland and Chinese elders. For Māori and Pacific Islanders, healthcare staff indicated the importance of enabling family members to provide ‘hands-on’ care. The role of family in decision-making was fundamental to the delivery of and satisfaction with care for older Chinese family members. Care staff highlighted the need to be cognisant of individual preferences both within and across cultures as a fundamental aspect of palliative care provision. The role of family in ‘hands-on’ palliative care and decision-making requires care staff to relinquish their role as ‘expert provider’. Counter to the prioritisation of autonomy in Western health-care, collective decision-making was favoured by Chinese elders. Providing families with the requisite knowledge and skills to give care to older family members was important. Whilst assumptions are sometimes made about preferences for end-of-life care based on cultural values alone, these data suggest that care preferences need to be ascertained by working with family members on an individual basis and in a manner that respects their involvement in palliative care provision.
The Cicely Saunders Institute has produced a report concerning spiritual care recommendations for people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups receiving palliative care in the UK. The holistic approach of palliative care addresses physical, psychosocial and spiritual problems.
The paucity of research and recommendations concerning spiritual care for people from BME groups has given impetus to this report, which aims to inform the provision of spiritual care for people from BME groups receiving palliative care across the UK by providing evidence-based guidance for palliative care service providers (Selman et al. 2010).
The recommendations are based on the findings of a project entitled ‘Spiritual care for patients from sub-Saharan Africa receiving palliative care in the UK’, which aimed to translate findings from a study conducted in South Africa and Uganda to the UK context (Ibid.). The recommendations also incorporate the views of over 30 experts in spiritual and cultural aspects of ‘supportive and palliative care’ (Ibid.).
Selman, L., Harding, R., Speck, P., Robinson, V., Aguma, A., Rhys, A. et al. (2010). Spiritual care recommendations for people from Black and minority ethnic groups receiving palliative care in the UK Dept. Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation, King’s College London.