My wife is my doctor at home’: A qualitative study exploring the challenges of home-based palliative care in a resource-poor setting

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This episode features Dr Yakubu Salifu (International Observatory on End of Life Care, Division of Health Research, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster, Lancashire, UK). Caring for a family member with advanced prostate cancer in the home presents practical and emotional challenges, especially in resource-poor contexts, where there are increasing palliative cases without adequate palliative care institutions. The study explored palliative and end-of-life care experiences of family caregivers and patients living at home in a resource-poor context in Ghana. Men with advanced prostate cancer face complex issues, including lack of access to professional care and a lack of resources for homecare. Family caregivers do not have easy access to professional support; they often have limited knowledge of disease progression. Patients have inadequate access to medication and other practical resources for homecare. Caregivers may be overburdened and perform the role of the patient’s ‘doctor’ at home-assessing patient’s symptoms, administering drugs, and providing hands-on care. In resource-poor contexts, there are significant challenges associated with home caregiver support. This study revealed the scale of challenges family caregivers, who lack basic training on aspects of caring, face in providing home care unsupported by healthcare professionals.

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