What are the barriers and facilitators to effective working relationships between nurses and informal carers providing end of life care at home?
Background The need to care for informal carers is increasing recognised in Scottish government policy and is implicit in good nursing practice. The professional in most regular contact with the informal carer providing end of life care at home is the district or community nurse, consequently this relationship is key to the successful provision of person centred care for the dying person and for all members of the care team. This study will explore the perceived barriers and facilitators to working with informal carers from the perspective of the nurse. Literature review The literature review focusses on identifying barriers and faciltators to effective working relationships between nurses and informal carers providing end of life care at home. The databases CINAHL, Medline and Psychinfo were searched and the British Journal of Community Nursing was also searched. Five themes were identified: identifying carers; the carer’s perspective; training for carers; nursing perspective; and structured communication tools. There was no literature specifically looking at the difficulties of working with an informal carer. The literature suggested that nurses lack confidence in their communication skills and have difficulty allocating time to supporting the carer and that a structured communication tool such as the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) can help.