Providing Palliative Care in a Swedish Support Home for People Who Are Homeless

Cecilia Håkanson*, Jonas Sandberg, Mirjam Ekstedt, Elisabeth Kenne Sarenmalm, Mats Christiansen, Joakim Öhlén

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Despite high frequencies of multiple, life-limiting conditions relating to palliative care needs, people who are homeless are one of the most underserved and rarely encountered groups in palliative care settings. Instead, they often die in care places where palliative competence is not available. In this qualitative single-case study, we explored the conditions and practices of palliative care from the perspective of staff at a Swedish support home for homeless people. Interpretive description guided the research process, and data were generated from repeated reflective conversations with staff in groups, individually, and in pairs. The findings disclose a person-centered approach to palliative care, grounded in the understanding of the person's health/illness and health literacy, and how this is related to and determinant on life as a homeless individual. Four patterns shape this approach: building trustful and family-like relationships, re-dignifying the person, re-considering communication about illness and dying, and re-defining flexible and pragmatic care solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1262
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2015
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • death and dying
  • homelessness
  • interpretive description
  • knowledge construction
  • palliative care
  • qualitative
  • Sweden


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