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Social relationships and community end of life care in Hong Kong: a three-stage model of social capital development

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2024
Issue number1
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)159-175
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/09/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


End-of-life (EOL) care is a crucial public health issue in Hong Kong, and one in which the community social service sector has become increasingly involved, as healthcare policy in the city shifts towards greater emphasis on social relationships in non-medical forms of EOL care. This study used abductive grounded theory methodology to illustrate the dynamics and mechanisms involved in social relationships between dying people (and their families), volunteers, and professionals in community-based social service agencies in Hong Kong. The aims are a) to understand how social relationships influence the experiences of dying people and their families, and b) to engage theoretically with concepts of social capital and compassionate communities to explicate the dynamic and relational processes involved in this phenomenon. Fourteen in-depth interviews with practitioners and two service users affiliated with two community-based EOL care agencies in Hong Kong were conducted. Findings inform a parsimonious three-stage model of social capital development in which relationships between service agency workers and families address a key precondition of social capital through establishing trust, facilitating the accessibility of social capital through cultivating mutuality, and mobilising social capital through collaborating in community EOL care. These processes in turn mitigate community detachment in the EOL experience.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Mortality on 21/09/2022, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13576275.2022.2126934