This finding, to be published in JAMDA, was described as “surprising and unexpected.” Researchers based at universities in Canada and France received more than 600 responses to a survey distributed to workers in five long-term care facilities in Quebec. The questionnaire covered topics related to end-of-life and palliative care.
Employees in long-term care showed shared agreement with the statement “family members tend to interfere in the care of residents at the end of life,” the researchers wrote. About 50% of respondents said they “somewhat agree” with that statement, and 22% said they “strongly agree.”
Residents’ relatives sometimes exhibit “problematic behaviors” and create “dysfunctional situations” that become increasingly troubling as dying residents develop multiple and complex issues, according to follow-up interviews the researchers did with managers and specialized clinical care advisors.
Cultural differences between the caregivers’ approach to end-of-life care and families’ expectations also could help explain the result, the researchers noted.
JAMDA is the journal of AMDA-Dedicated to Long-Term Care, formerly known as the American Medical Directors Association. The findings of this study will appear in the March issue.
This article appears in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living.