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Unpacking the Meaning of “Transitional Palliative Care”: From the Lens of the Older Persons and Their Carers

Butcon, Jesson V. PhD, RN; Chan, Engle Angela PhD, RN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: October 2017 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 487–497
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000378
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This article synthesizes literature for better understanding of the concept of transitional palliative care (TPC) within the context of older people moving from hospital to the community with life-limiting conditions and palliative care needs. The constructs gleaned from the synthesis connote that transitional care is more than only an act of transfer as older adults experience multiple transitions in our health care environment. It is a process of adjustment and adaptation for older adults to accommodate the changes as a result of the illness experience. The transition from cure to palliative care is one of the ongoing tensions because our health care system favors goals directed toward cure instead of comfort. The concept of a shift to palliation is also not enabled in a structure that a “one-size-fits-all” notion applies. The authors argue that current forms of TPC ignore influences of multifaceted health and social factors, which impact choices of older persons and their families.

Jesson V. Butcon, PhD, RN, is member, Centre for Gerontological Nursing, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon.

Engle Angela Chan, PhD, RN, is associate head and associate professor, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon.

Address correspondence to Jesson V. Butcon, PhD, RN, Centre for Gerontological Nursing, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR (jesson.v.butcon@connect.polyu.hk).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2017 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.