Using the ecological framework to identify barriers and enablers to implementing Namaste Care in Canada’s long-term care system
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BACKGROUND: Higher acuity of care at the time of admission to long-term care (LTC) is resulting in a shorter period to time of death, yet most LTC homes in Canada do not have formalized approaches to palliative care. Namaste Care is a palliative care approach specifically tailored to persons with advanced cognitive impairment who are living in LTC. The purpose of this study was to employ the ecological framework to identify barriers and enablers to an implementation of Namaste Care. METHODS: Six group interviews were conducted with families, unlicensed staff, and licensed staff at two Canadian LTC homes that were planning to implement Namaste Care. None of the interviewees had prior experience implementing Namaste Care. The resulting qualitative data were analyzed using a template organizing approach. RESULTS: We found that the strongest implementation enablers were positive perceptions of need for the program, benefits of the program, and fit within a resident-centred or palliative approach to care. Barriers included a generally low resource base for LTC, the need to adjust highly developed routines to accommodate the program, and reliance on a casual work force. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that within the Canadian LTC system, positive perceptions of Namaste Care are tempered by concerns about organizational capacity to support new programming.
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