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Homecare nurses, palliative care, qualitative research, rural area



  1. Arnaert, Antonia PhD, MPA, MSc, RN
  2. Seller, Robbyn PhD, MA, BA
  3. Wainwright, Megan BA


Homecare nurses in rural areas play a key role in providing patients with continuous, personalized, and holistic care. However, palliative care for terminally ill patients and their families can be difficult to obtain and provide in geographically isolated areas of Canada. This study explored homecare nurses' attitudes toward palliative care in a rural community in Western Quebec. A qualitative design was used, which incorporated semistructured interviews and a focus group with five homecare nurses within the community's health and social service organization. Data were analyzed using a thematic content analysis technique. Six themes emerged: (1) experiencing community embeddedness, (2) maintaining patients' quality of life, (3) collaborating with a multidisciplinary team, (4) experiencing emotional and physical isolation, (5) acknowledging the need for professional development, and (6) dealing with organizational issues. Findings identified the need to develop a palliative homecare team and context-specific professional development activities for the nurses.