Understanding home, homeland, and family at the end of life: a qualitative study of older South Asians in East London

Ramasamy Venktasalu, Munikumar (2011) Understanding home, homeland, and family at the end of life: a qualitative study of older South Asians in East London. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Background: South Asians constitute the single largest ethnic minority group in the United Kingdom, yet little is known about their perspectives and experiences on end of life and its related care.

Aim: To explore and critically examine views and perceptions about end of life issues among older South Asians living in East London.

Methodology and methods: After gaining ethical approval, five focus groups and 29 in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with total of 55 older adults (24 men and 31 women) aged between 52 to 78 years. Participants from six South Asian ethnic groups were recruited through 11 local community organisations. Where possible the focus groups and interviews were conducted in the participants' preferred language. Tape recorded multilingual data were translated and transcribed into English. Using a constructive grounded theory approach, data analysis resulted in the development of a theory of “continuity and reconstruction” that captured three categories of ‘home’; ‘family’ and ‘trust’ at end of life.

Findings: The theory of “continuity and reconstruction” is explored in three ways. Firstly, the theory is explored through examination of beliefs, attitudes and expectations about the place of ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ in care of the dying. Secondly, the theory is explored as accounts of “family” in terms of how family are bound towards caring for their dying relatives at end of life and the importance of support from social networks in family care giving. Finally, the theory is explored in terms of how participants place “trust” in their family and medical professionals to lead any related discussion and to make decisions related to their death and dying.

Conclusion: The theoretical framework of “continuity and reconstruction” explains how older South Asians make efforts to adhere to important social and cultural values relating to death and dying, while rebuilding and adapting those values during the challenges of living in an emigrant society. This study highlights the need for further exploration of family care giving needs among South Asian population and concludes by drawing attention to some practical implications for health professionals who are responsible for initiating end of life discussions and are involved in end of life decisions when caring for people from these ethnic minority groups.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Seymour, J.E.
Arthur, A.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Death, Dying, End of Life, End of Life care, South Asians, Older South Asians, East Londoners, Palliative, Palliative care, Ethnic Minorities
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
ID Code:2105
Deposited By:Dr Munikumar Ramasamy Venkatasalu
Deposited On:15 Dec 2011 09:22
Last Modified:26 Aug 2014 15:56

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