Patients’ perception of types of errors in palliative care – results from a qualitative interview studyReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Palliative Care

, 15:75

Ethics, organization and policy


BackgroundMedical errors have been recognized as a relevant public health concern and research efforts to improve patient safety have increased. In palliative care, however, studies on errors are rare and mainly focus on quantitative measures. We aimed to explore how palliative care patients perceive and think about errors in palliative care and to generate an understanding of patients’ perception of errors in that specialty.

MethodsA semistructured qualitative interview study was conducted with patients who had received at least 1 week of palliative care in an inpatient or outpatient setting. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed according to qualitative content analysis.

ResultsTwelve patients from two centers were interviewed 7 women, median age 63.5 years, range 22–90 years. Eleven patients suffered from a malignancy. Days in palliative care ranged from 10 to 180 days median 28 days. 96 categories emerged which were summed up under 11 umbrella terms definition, difference, type, cause, consequence, meaning, recognition, handling, prevention, person causing and affected person. A deductive model was developed assigning umbrella terms to error-theory-based factor levels definition, type and process-related factors. 23 categories for type of error were identified, including 12 categories that can be considered as palliative care specific. On the level of process-related factors 3 palliative care specific categories emerged recognition, meaning and consequence of errors.

ConclusionFrom the patients’ perspective, there are some aspects of errors that could be considered as specific to palliative care. As the results of our study suggest, these palliative care-specific aspects seem to be very important from the patients’ point of view and should receive further investigation. Moreover, the findings of this study can serve as a guide to further assess single aspects or categories of errors in palliative care in future research.

KeywordsError Medical error Palliative care Patient’s perspective  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Isabel Kiesewetter - Christian Schulz - Claudia Bausewein - Rita Fountain - Andrea Schmitz


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