New research– Access to palliative care by older Asian people in New Zealand

Categories: Research.

The study was supervised by UC health sciences researcher Kate Reid and involved collaboration between UC postgraduate audiology student Bible Lee, Partnership Health Canterbury’s ethnic liaison Wayne Reid and members of the Korean, Chinese and Japanese communities.

This research is believed to be the first study in New Zealand to assess the palliative care needs of Asian migrants. Findings from the study were presented at Hospice NZ’s 20th Palliative Care Conference in Auckland. 

Results suggested that, although respondents reported knowing little about palliative care services, many of those surveyed were interested in finding out more.  

Researchers found that only a quarter of Korean, Japanese and Chinese respondents were aware that bereavement support services were available in New Zealand.  

Researcher Bible Lee commented: “The New Zealand population is ageing as a whole, but I think that the Asian elderly are not as commonly talked about….statistics show that by 2026, the number of Asian people aged 65 years and over will be five times as great as it was in 2006.”  

The study also found that perspectives associated with terminal illnesses, death and dying could also vary across different cultures.  

The majority of respondents strongly valued the opportunity of being able to speak in their mother tongue and being offered written information by health professionals in their native language. 

“Hiring even just one or two nurses in hospices, district nursing services and nursing homes who are bilingual or multilingual would help staff and the future service users,” said Lee. 

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