The Experience of Underserved Palliative Care Patients following Hospital Discharge.

Title: The Experience of Underserved Palliative Care Patients following Hospital Discharge.

Investigator: Daniel Gardner, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor of Social Work, Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College.

Overview: Pain and palliative care scholars have consistently called for further research to understand the barriers to care among underserved populations, and innovative strategies to increase access to palliative care for older adults and their families in the community. The overall goal of this pilot study is to explore the perceptions and supportive care needs of 35 low income, Latino and African American elders after discharge from an inpatient palliative care service, and to identify the barriers they face in accessing palliative care in the community. The specific aims of the study are to:

  1. Describe the supportive care needs and preferences of low income, racially and ethnically diverse elders at and three months post-discharge from a public hospital-based palliative care service.
  2. Understand the perceptions and experiences of palliative care among these older patients, specifically the extent to which palliative care ameliorates pain and enhances quality of life in later life.
  3. Identify the distinct barriers and facilitators to the use of palliative care services to treat pain among diverse, chronically ill elders in the community.