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‘I don’t want to be in that big city; this is my country here’ : research findings on Aboriginal peoples’ preference to die at home

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journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Pamela McgrathPamela Mcgrath
Objective: The present article provides findings from a two-year study on Indigenous palliative care conducted in the Northern Territory that explored and documented wishes in relation to place of death for rural and remote Aboriginal people. Design: Qualitative, open-ended interviews, audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analysed. Participants: There were a total of 72 interviews completed with Indigenous patients (n = 10), Indigenous caregivers (n = 19), Indigenous and non-Indigenous health care workers (n = 41), and interpreters (n = 2). Results: The findings provide a clear articulation of the wish of Aboriginal people from rural and remote areas to die at home connected to land and family. Strong cultural reasons were given for this preference, including the strong connection with land and community, a belief in ‘death country’, the importance of passing on sacred knowledge to the appropriate family member, the significance of ensuring that the dying individual’s ‘animal spirit’ is able to return to the land, and the imperative that the ‘right person’ in the family network is available to provide the care. Conclusion: The strong wish to die at home informs the importance of building up local health and palliative care services and avoiding, where possible, the need for relocation for health care to the major metropolitan hospitals during end-of-life care.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

15

Issue

4

Start Page

264

End Page

268

Number of Pages

5

eISSN

1440-1584

ISSN

1038-5282

Location

Adelaide, South Australia

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR); International Program of Psycho-Social Health Research;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Australian journal of rural health.

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