Presented by: Kevin Bezanson
Overview: We will present the results of qualitative interviews (N=12) conducted with individual humanitarian healthcare providers with first hand experience of caring for those facing life-threatening illness or trauma in the context of emergency response. These interviews aim to understand perceived needs, ethical and practical challenges, experiences and possibilities for palliative care integration into healthcare delivery in humanitarian emergencies. Conducted within the framework the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme, these interviews form one of 3 data sources in a mixed methods study aimed at informing realistic, context-sensitive guidance, education, and practice for the provision of palliative care during humanitarian emergencies.
Method: In 2016 the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group developed semi-structured interview guides for administration to individual practitioners, operational managers, and/or policy makers from a variety of organizations with first-hand experience in the last 24 months providing care in humanitarian contexts. Interviews investigate palliative care in humanitarian action at three levels: (1) lived examples with palliative care being done well/unwell within a humanitarian context; (2) perceptions of whether or not and on what bases palliative care during humanitarian emergencies be considered an ethical obligation for all humanitarian organizations; (3) perceptions of principal challenges and possibilities for integrating palliative care more fully into humanitarian healthcare.
Findings: Results from these in-depth interviews with a range of actors provides a snapshot of current palliative care practice and need in humanitarian contexts, as seen from those on the front-lines of healthcare delivery in those contexts.