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Palliative and end-of-life care’s barriers for older adults

Retno Indarwati (Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia)
Rista Fauziningtyas (Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia)
Gilang Dwi Kuncahyo (Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia)
Rr Dian Tristiana (Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia)
Chong Mei Chan (Department of Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Graeme D. Smith (Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 1 October 2019

Issue publication date: 6 February 2020




A nursing home is a place that is familiar with death, since many older adults will spend the latter part of their lives in such a setting. However, research on this topic is still limited, especially in Indonesia. The purpose of this paper is to explore the barriers to successful palliative and, more generally, end-of-life care (EOLC) for older adults in nursing homes and to explore nurses’ views on the subject.


The study is of a qualitative nature and it employs a phenomenological approach. In-depth interviews with 15 nurses who taken care of older adults in a nursing home were conducted. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis.


Barriers to effective EOLC include lack of knowledge, ineffectual communication and insufficient resources.

Research limitations/implications

Better policies are needed, especially in training related to palliative/EOLC subjects and equitable distribution of professional health workers to overcome the barriers. The government should also encourage collaboration involving hospitals, Puskesmas (Health Centre Services), community and resident care settings in sharing knowledge and skills, especially for nurses.


The barriers identified in palliative and EOLC have been found to be almost identical to those encountered in other health services.



Indarwati, R., Fauziningtyas, R., Kuncahyo, G.D., Tristiana, R.D., Chan, C.M. and Smith, G.D. (2020), "Palliative and end-of-life care’s barriers for older adults", Working with Older People, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 72-80.



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