Palliative care services for Indian migrants in australia: Experiences of the family of terminally ill patients

Sujatha Shanmugasundaram, Margaret O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The way that health care systems in developing countries like India care for dying patients, has an impact on the expectations of such care for those who migrate to other countries faces. At the end of life, cultural issues may impact on the quality of life remaining and for that reason, it is important that particular cultural practices are understood. This paper describes a study that investigated the cultural issues of access to palliative care services for Indian migrants in Australia.
Purpose of the study: To investigate the experiences of the family members of terminally ill Indian migrants in Victoria, Australia.
Objective of the study: To explore the issues related to accessing palliative care services for Indian migrants; to identify the effectiveness of palliative care in supporting the patient and family and to recommend strategies for improving this care.
Materials and methods: A qualitative descriptive design was utilized. Up to 6 family members were selected for in-depth interviews in understanding cultural issues related to the palliative care services for a family member.
Results: ANALYSIS OF THE INTERVIEWS REVEALED THAT FAMILIES OF INDIAN PATIENTS EXPERIENCE DIFFICULTIES WHILST RECEIVING PALLIATIVE CARE SERVICES, WHICH FELL INTO THREE MAIN CATEGORIES: Indian support systems, cultural issues, and caring experiences. Although each of these issues had a direct influence on the experience of terminal care that their family member received, cultural issues and support systems also influenced the caring experiences.
Conclusion: Despite the successful implementation of palliative care services across Australia, there are still problems in accessing and receiving the services among minority and disadvantaged groups like various cultural groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Palliative Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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