Background: The United States, like many other developed nations, is becoming increasingly culturally diverse, with over 20% of its population speaking languages other than English at home. Palliative care services, including perinatal palliative care, remain underutilised among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) families. Cultural and linguistic barriers have been associated with poorer access to healthcare, quality of care, patient understanding and satisfaction of care, among other things. Given the particularly vital role culture plays at birth and end of life, there is a mounting need for culturally competent perinatal palliative care.
Aims: 1) To explore the experiences of a multidisciplinary paediatric palliative care team in caring for a Nepali infant and family; 2) to explore cultural and linguistic barriers in providing care; and 3) to identify areas for improvement and helpful practices in perinatal palliative care when serving CALD children with life-threatening conditions and their families.
Methods: This is a qualitative study utilising semi-structured one-on-one interviews with six multidisciplinary palliative care team members, including a Nepali interpreter. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, coded and analysed using grounded theory approach to explore clinicians’ perspectives in providing perinatal palliative care for a Nepali infant and family. The study is currently in progress, to be completed by July 2022.
Conclusion: Healthcare professionals continue to face challenges in providing perinatal palliative care that holistically meets the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families. Greater knowledge of how to provide compassionate, quality perinatal palliative care is needed. It requires understanding the entire multidisciplinary team’s—including the interpreters’—perspectives.