Building community capacity for end of life: An investigation of community capacity and its implications for health promoting palliative care in the Australian Capital Territory

Jason Mills, John Rosenberg, Fran McInerney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study identified and examined community-based activities around death,dying and end-of-life care which might reflect a health-promoting palliative care(HPPC) philosophy. This approach is argued to restore community ownershipof, and agency in, dying and death through the building of community capacity.However, the enactment of the HPPC approach has not been extensivelyexamined in Australia. Current understandings of community capacity-buildingrelating to end of life are orientated toward service provision. A qualitativeinterpretive approach was used to engage with local community groups in theAustralian Capital Territory with an interest in death, dying and end-of-life care.Data were collected from ten in-depth, semi-structured interviews andthematically analysed. The themes of Practical Support, Respect andResponsiveness and Connection and Empowerment were identified, reflectingcommunity activities initiated in response to the experience of life-limiting illness.Building community capacity offers to restore community agency in endof-lifeconcerns, while potentially enhancing health service provision throughcollaborative partnerships. This study indicates an existing community capacity,demonstrated by activities that promote socialisation, peer support and normalisationof death and dying. However, as these activities occur primarily inresponse to illness, proactive and preparatory interventions in HPPC are apriority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-230
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Public Health
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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