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What is good palliative care for immigrants with a Turkish or Moroccan background?

Francke, A.L., Graaff, F. de, Muijsenbergh, M.E. van den, Geest, S. van der. What is good palliative care for immigrants with a Turkish or Moroccan background? European Journal of Palliative Care: 2011 189. Abstract. 12th Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care 'Palliative Care Reaching Out', 18-21 mei 2011, Lisbon, Portugal.
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Research aims: The aim of this study was to explore whether main principles of palliative care, such as advanced care planning and the emphasis on quality of life, match with the perspectives of immigrants with a Turkish or Moroccan background. These are the two largest immigrants groups in the Netherlands. Both groups came as immigrant workers a few decades ago. Study design and methods: We conducted 83 qualitative interviews with patients, relatives, doctors, nurses and other professionals, involved in a total of 33 cases of Turkish or Moroccan immigrants receiving palliative cancer care. These persons were interviewed about their values and norms on ‘good care’. All interview data were analysed qualitatively, with support of the programme MAXQDA. Results: Essential components of ‘good care’ expressed by Turkish and Moroccan patients with incurable cancer and their relatives were: maximum treatment and curative care until death, never having hope taken away, devoted care by their families, avoiding shameful situations, dying with a clear mind and being buried in the country of origin. These views conflict, to some extent, with main principles in palliative care, for example, the emphasis on quality of life and advanced care planning. Conclusion: This study shows that patients and families with a Turkish or Moroccan background often have different ideas about ‘good care’ in the palliative phase than their Dutch care providers. As many of these immigrant patients are aiming at cure until the end of life, ‘good palliative care’ appears to be a contradiction in terms for them. (aut ref.)