Patients’ and Relatives’ Preferences for a Palliative/Oncology Day Ward and Out-of-Hours Telemedicine: An Interpretive Description

Eithne Hayes Bauer*, Anders Nikolai Ørsted Schultz, Anette Brink, Lena Oechsle Jørgensen, Georg Bollig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Demographical challenges require adaptation and tailoring of services to suit palliative patients’ and relatives’ needs. Therefore, an interpretive descriptive study was performed to explore patients’ and relatives’ preferences for the establishment of a day ward and out-of-hours telemedicine. Semi-structured interviews were performed, and data were analysed using thematic analysis. Participants included patients (n = 12) and relatives (n = 5). Three themes emerged: (1) ‘Transport burden’ relates to transition from home-to-hospital-to-home and acknowledges the strain placed on patients and relatives. (2) ‘Role of relatives’ contemplates how the role of families in patient care influences patient preferences. (3) ‘Telemedicine—preferences and concerns’ covers preferences and concerns related to telemedicine in palliative care. The burden of transport and living alone play substantial roles in preferences for place of treatment. Relatives of palliative patients who avail of a day ward and telemedicine may experience an increase in the burden of care. Recognition of concerns pertinent to palliative patients and relatives is an important step in planning new services in palliative care. Concerns may be mitigated by rethinking referral guidelines, incorporating voluntary services, early integration of telemedicine into palliative care and examining patients and relatives’ expectations to care, but requires further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number758
Issue number6
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 18. Jun 2021


  • Day ward
  • Interpretive description
  • Oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Patient preferences
  • Relative preferences
  • Telemedicine


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