Te tatau o te pō : perceptions and experiences of palliative care and hospice -- a Māori perspective : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
Palliative care and hospice service demand in New Zealand is predicted to increase, due to New Zealand's growing and ageing population. The Maori population is youthful, and ageing at a faster rate than non-Maori. Maori currently under utilise palliative care and hospice services, compared to non-Maori, but given the growing population, they will potentially be high future users of these services. Consequently, palliative care and hospice services, facilities, and health professionals must ensure they are competent to meet the needs of Maori. This project investigates Maori experiences and perceptions of palliative care and hospice services. Three Maori palliative care patients and four whanau members, were recruited. A kaupapa Maori (Maori cultural ideologies) approach underpins this research project, and uses purakau (Maori narratives) to illustrate the participants’ discussions. In-depth interviews were conducted, transcribed, and thematically analysed, exploring how they navigated their journey through palliative care and hospice services. Particular interest lies in their personal experiences and perceptions of whether palliative care and hospice meets their Maori cultural needs, and identifying any influential barriers or benefits. The findings were presented under five primary themes: 'Something is wrong', 'Knowledge and understanding', 'Hospice', 'Te ao hurihuri: Changing times', and 'Te tatau o te po: The door of the night'. The interpretation of the results highlighted the diversity between the participants' expectations, perceptions, and experiences of palliative care and hospice. Through interviewing these Maori patients and their whanau, their intimate purakau have established a foundation for further investigation of palliative care and hospice services for Maori. This research will not only contribute to the limited literature existing on Maori and palliation, but it will also provide a voice for those interviewed.