“People don’t understand what goes on in here”: A consensual qualitative research analysis of inmate-caregiver perspectives on prison-based end-of-life care.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 22, 2017

“People don’t understand what goes on in here”: A consensual qualitative research analysis of inmate-caregiver perspectives on prison-based end-of-life care.

Cheektowaga, NY – The Palliative Care Institute (PCI) research team (Rachel M. Depner, M.S., Pei C. Grant, PhD., David J. Byrwa, M.S., Jennifer M. Breier, M.S., M.S. Ed.), Christopher W. Kerr, PhD., M.D., along with Debra L. Luczkiewicz, M.D., Hospice Buffalo Physician, and community collaborator Jennifer Lodi-Smith, PhD., Canisius College Professor, worked together to explore an ongoing hospice prison-based end-of-life peer care program. The study resulted in the article published in Palliative Medicine “People don’t understand what goes on in here”: A consensual qualitative research analysis of inmate-caregiver perspectives on prison-based end-of-life care, February 12, 2018.

“Hospice is different for everyone… It is making a person as comfortable as you can, understanding that they are about to pass away.” ~ Inmate Caretaker

The PCI research team interviewed twenty-two healthy inmates currently participating in an end-of-life peer-care program at a maximum security state level correctional facility. The overall goal of this research was to explore and describe a prison-based end-of-life care program that employs healthy inmates as peer-caregiver to chronically ill and/or dying inmates.

The findings of the study suggest that inmate-caregivers believe they provide a unique and necessary adaptation to prison-based end-of-life care resulting in multilevel benefits. These additional perceived benefits go beyond a marginalized group gaining access to patient-centered end-of-life care and include potential inmate-caregiver rehabilitation, correctional medical staff feeling supported, and correctional facilities meeting end-of-life care mandates.

Rachel Depner, PCI clinical researcher, states, “We originally set out to do this project in order to explore models of care for the incarcerated and shed light on the lack of standardization of end-of-life care for inmates, we had no idea that the potential benefits for utilizing a peer-care model could reach far beyond these original goals. Moving forward, I hope that correctional administrators take note of this growing research and take action through implementing prison-based peer care programs.” Additional research is imperative to work towards greater standardization of and access to end-of-life care for the incarcerated.

Click to read the full Prison Study.

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About The Palliative Care Institute

The Palliative Care Institute (PCI) was established to advance the scope of palliative care awareness, education and research. PCI not only seeks to educate current and future professionals about palliative care, but also the community at large. PCI is an affiliate of The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care and is located at Hospice Buffalo’s Mitchell Campus in Cheektowaga, NY.

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For more information and/or an interview with Rachel Depner, please contact Clarice Otminski, Director of PR & Community Marketing (p) 716.989.2072, (m) 716.512.9325 cotminski@palliativecare.org