Supporting Family Caregivers With Palliative Symptom Management: A Qualitative Analysis of the Provision of an Emergency Medication Kit in the Home Setting

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2015 Aug;32(5):484-9. doi: 10.1177/1049909114531326. Epub 2014 May 5.


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative analysis was to examine the experiences of family caregivers supporting a dying person in the home setting. In particular, it explores caregivers' perceptions of receiving palliative care at home when supplied with an emergency medication kit (EMK).

Results: Most family caregivers described preexisting medication management strategies that were unable to provide timely intervention in symptoms. The EMK was largely viewed as an effective strategy in providing timely symptom control and preventing readmission to inpatient care. Caregivers reported varying levels of confidence in the administration of medication.

Conclusion: The provision of an EMK is an effective strategy for improving symptom control and preventing inpatient admissions of home-dwelling palliative care patients.

Keywords: caregiver; emergency medication; home care; palliative care; personal narratives; qualitative research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Patient Comfort
  • Prescription Drugs / administration & dosage*
  • Qualitative Research


  • Prescription Drugs