Putting Māori values into palliative care

palliative care

The very English model of hospice and palliative care was originally adopted largely uncritically in New Zealand, says Professor Merryn Gott.

“But given the bi-cultural context of this country, we need to know what Māori want at end of life and how services can be better directed to meet their needs.”

Working bi-culturally is the focus for Gott and her team on the Te Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group at the School of Nursing, of which she is director.

As part of their research, digital stories were created by whanau about Māori caring for their kaumatua at the end of life.

When the digital stories were launched in 2015, one of the research team, Dr Moeke Maxwell, said they were to be used in the University’s School of Nursing as a teaching resource.

The Digital Story telling began as a small part of the research programme, but it has had a huge impact.

“They are being heard within their wider communities, by health professionals and policy makers, which is an important first step to ensuring they receive better support,” Gott said.

“We have also found completing a story helps individuals make sense of what is, inevitably, a very difficult time in their life.”

“It has been beyond our expectations.

“The stories are being used across New Zealand, both within Māori communities and for teaching, and are being picked up internationally.”

Gott says an example is the teams in Australia that are looking at replicating the idea in Aborigine communities.

The study was led by Dr Lisa Williams and co-researchers, Dr Tess Moeke-Maxwell (Ngai Tai) and Dr Stella Black (Tuhoe) along with Gott.

Watch a Digital Story

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News category: New Zealand.

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