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End-of-life care during COVID-19: opportunities and challenges for community nursing.

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Pollock, Kristian 
Oldman, Crystal 


Providing person-centred end-of-life care at home and in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging. These challenges extend beyond the interpersonal communication barriers created by wearing personal protective equipment for infection control. Visors and facemasks make it harder to hear soft voice tones or read facial expressions: key tools in empathetic communication. Traditional models of care, based on predominantly face-to-face multidisciplinary clinical consultations, have been radically overhauled in the UK and other countries worse affected by the pandemic (Costantini et al, 2020; Antunes et al, 2020). The unprecedented rapid adoption of technology including video and telehealth consultations, alongside virtual ward rounds and online team meetings, reduce infection risks and may have the advantage of enabling faster access to clinical advice (Powell et al, 2020). However, concerns that healthcare professional home visits would reduce has led to an increased focus on family members’ provision of care, including potentially the administration of end-of-life care medications (Antunes et al, 2020; Johnson et al, 2020). The pandemic has imposed massive stress on care resources and the changes in healthcare service delivery post COVID-19 look set to be substantial (Kasaraneni, 2020; Antunes et al, 2020). New models of care delivery have also created opportunities for nurses supporting people in community settings to develop their role and skills.



COVID-19, Community Health Nursing, Home Care Services, Humans, Palliative Care, Residential Facilities, SARS-CoV-2, Telemedicine, Terminal Care

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Br J Community Nurs

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Mark Allen Group


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National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (via University of Oxford) (Capacity Building Award 9)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (SPCR-146)
BB is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research. SB is supported by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England (ARC EoE) programme.