Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Using syringe drivers in palliative care within a rural, community setting: capturing the whole experience

Cruickshank, Susanne; Adamson, Elizabeth; Logan, Janice; Brackenridge, Katie


Susanne Cruickshank

Janice Logan

Katie Brackenridge


The aim of this research was to understand how the introduction of a syringe driver, which is considered routine practice in many palliative care settings, impacted on patients, carers and community nurses within a rural, community setting. A phenomenological study was conducted exploring the experiences from the perspective of patients (n=4), carers (n=9) and community nurses (n=12) when syringe drivers are used at home. We interviewed patients and carers in their own homes and conducted two focus groups with community nurses who had an interest in palliative care but were not specialists. Despite the wide use of syringe drivers within palliative care, our study found their use among community nurses, particularly in rural areas can be variable with frequent time lapses between a nurse's exposure, impacting on both their technical abilities and knowledge. In-depth interviews with patients revealed few barriers to their use, but carers clearly identified areas where their expectations and experiences differed and where more information setting realistic goals of care would have been helpful. The authors conclude that although nurses require competencies related to syringe drivers, they also need an in-depth knowledge of the actions of the drugs and the likely changes which occur physiologically as patients approach the end of their life. This will ensure accurate information is delivered, and facilitate meaningful dialogue.


Cruickshank, S., Adamson, E., Logan, J., & Brackenridge, K. (2010). Using syringe drivers in palliative care within a rural, community setting: capturing the whole experience. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 16, 126-32

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2012
Print ISSN 1357-6321
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Pages 126-32
Keywords Community Health Nursing; Family -- Psychosocial Factors; Hospice and Palliative Nursing; Infusion Pumps -- Utilization; Terminal Care;
Public URL

You might also like

Downloadable Citations