Much of what is known about family caregiving at end-of-life in Canada has been studied within the context of various disease categories or across different care settings, rather than in relation to specific ethnic/cultural identities. Such homogeneity belies the impact of cultural and social factors on the experiences and outcomes of palliative and end-of-life (P/EOL) care. We know little about the end-of-life experiences of Vietnamese-Canadian families. Consequently, there is a lack of understanding around how to best meet the needs of Vietnamese care recipients, caregivers, and their families via the health service system, whose services of which we know they have limited access.
To determine a set of service recommendations for health care settings (including the home) specific to caring for Vietnamese (P/EOL) care recipients, caregivers and their families, a qualitative instrumental case-study design was employed. The perspectives of 18 adult Vietnamese family caregivers (FCGs) were obtained. In addition, seven semi-structured key informant interviews were implemented with a range of personnel from community service providers to front-line health care professionals. The ways in which caregiving was perceived and expressed were reflected in three thematic findings: (1) Natural: identity and care work; (2) Intentional: whole person care; and (3) Intensive: standards, struggle, and the context of care. Ten main recommendations have been vetted with service provider leaders and confirmed as being appropriate for uptake.
The ten service recommendations for health care settings (including the home), if implemented, would contribute to improved P/EOL services for the Vietnamese population. Further research involves the evaluation of these policy and programs.