A Meta-Ethnographic Review of Paid Staff and Volunteers Working together in Palliative Care

Journal article


Oliver, K., Michelle Brown, Catherine Walshe and Yakubu Salifu 2023. A Meta-Ethnographic Review of Paid Staff and Volunteers Working together in Palliative Care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 66 (6), pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2023.08.004
AuthorsOliver, K., Michelle Brown, Catherine Walshe and Yakubu Salifu
Abstract

Context
Volunteers in palliative care settings are an essential part of care provision for patients and those important to them. Effective collaboration between volunteers and paid staff has been regarded as an important element of successful working, however, at times failures in coordination, information sharing and tensions within teams have been highlighted.

Objectives
To explore the views expressed by volunteers and paid staff about their experiences of working together in palliative care settings.

Methods
A systematic exploration of qualitative research using a meta-ethnographic approach. PsycINFO, CINAHL, Medline Complete, and AMED databases were searched from inception to December 2021 for the concepts “volunteers” and “palliative care.” Repeated in-depth reading and appraisal of papers identified metaphors and concepts, providing new interpretations.

Results
Included papers (n = 14) enabled the construction of five storylines: 1) “we are the cake, and they are the cream”: understanding the volunteer role—separate, but part of a whole. 2) “…we don't know what's wrong with people but sometimes we need to know”: access to information and importance of trust. 3) “everybody looks out for each other”: access to paid staff and their support. 4) “...we don't meddle in the medical”: boundaries. 5) "it's the small things that the staff does for me that makes me feel good about my work": sense of value and significance.

Conclusions
For effective working relationships between paid staff and volunteers, proactive engagement, recognition of each other's role and contribution, mutual sharing of information, and intentional interaction between both groups is needed.

Keywordsvolunteers; palliative care ; paid staff; working relationships
Year2023
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Journal citation66 (6), pp. 1-26
PublisherElsevier
ISSN 0885-3924
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2023.08.004
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2023.08.004
Publisher's version
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File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates12 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Feb 2024
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